BMW and MINI owners who love capturing video of their ultimate driving machines in action now have reason to rejoice. BMW and GoPro have announced the integration of the GoPro’s live wireless video to feed into the car’s infotainment system. In other words, you can watch your GoPro’s live video from your dashboard — in real time.
There are a few caveats though. The BMW or MINI must be a 2012 model or newer, the car also must have the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, the owner must have an iPhone 4 or newer with the GoPro App installed and running, and the GoPro camera has to be a Wi-Fi-equipped model, such as the HERO3+ or newer. Meet those criteria and you’ll have a front-row seat to watch the rubber burn off your rear tires as you commence to drop the clutch.
The system works by relaying the GoPro’s video signal to your connected iPhone. That signal is then transmitted to the car’s infotainment system through the iPhone USB cable or BMW Accessory snap-in adaptor. The system will also display the camera’s critical information like battery life, Wi-Fi signal strength, and elapsed time. Moreover, the camera’s record and sleep functions can be controlled from the infotainment screen as well.
Unfortunately, the lawyers have seemingly won the battle for safety in this case as the nearly-live video — BMW says a slight lag will be present — cuts out when the car begins to move.
Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new GoPro Application.
Why It Matters
GoPro cameras have revolutionized high-action videography with its compact design, wide-angle lens, and sharp picture. Their relatively inexpensive price starting around $200 means they’re accessible to nearly anyone looking to make a video. BMW’s collaboration and integration of this camera technology into their “Ultima te Driving Machines” helps further its image as an enthusiast’s car brand. Hopefully other automakers catch on to the interesting video trend. The endless supply of YouTube videos showcasing their cars’ abilities will surely play well for the marketing department.
The BMW Group Technology Office and GoPro have announced the first-ever, mass-produced integration of a GoPro camera with an automobile’s on board infotainment system. In BMW Group vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, a GoPro camera may now be configured and controlled using BMW’s state-of-the-art iDrive controller and high-resolution screen. Starting in July 2014, the integration will be functional on all model year 2012 and later BMW Group vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, when used with a Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro camera. The updated GoPro App is now available for free in the iTunes Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gopro-app/id561350520).
“Working with GoPro to design this integration was remarkable,” said Phil Johnston, Head of BMW Group AppCenter USA. “’Creative’ and ‘insightful’ just begin to describe the experience. GoPro is a natural fit for BMW enthusiast drivers. The power and flexibility of the BMW Group App Integration Platform coupled with GoPro’s advanced camera technology brings new, safe, and engaging experiences to the enthusiasts that were previously not possible. When the camera is connected to the car, it allows GoPro’s app to present context-appropriate presets that allow the enthusiast to capture the perfect shot.”
“GoPro has deep roots in motorsports and is passionate about enabling drivers to capture their road or track experience,” said Adam Silver, GoPro Director of Strategic Product Opportunities. “The GoPro and BMW collaboration sets a new standard in the category and is an important first step in a partnership designed to deliver next-level integration between camera and car.”
This groundbreaking integration is designed specifically to reduce driver distraction and enhance the capabilities for which “The Ultimate Driving Machine®” and GoPro, one of the world’s most versatile cameras, are famous. In addition to aiming the camera using BMW’s large central screen, users may quickly choose between six pre-set camera modes: Leisure Drive Facing Out, Night Driving, Sport Drive Facing Out, Drive Camera Facing In, Winding Road Time-lapse, and Straight Road Time-lapse. The camera’s RECORD function may be started and stopped by the driver at will, and vital camera status indicators are displayed, including recording elapsed time, battery life, and Wi-Fi signal strength. The user may also toggle the camera’s SLEEP mode to prolong battery life between shots.
How it works.
First, the user’s BMW or MINI vehicle must be equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, respectively. Next, the user’s Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro camera (HERO3+ and later) communicates with the GoPro App installed on the driver’s iPhone 4 or later, which must be connected to the vehicle either through the iPhone USB cable or the BMW Accessory snap-in adaptor for iPhone. The driver will access the App through the BMW ConnectedDrive or MINI Connected menu, which is displayed on the large, trans-reflective central screen (up to 10.2 inches, depending on model).
The BMW Group Technology Office and GoPro designed the on-board operating menu to streamline the camera’s operation and take full advantage of the integrated environment. Menu choices appear to the left of the screen, and the camera’s actual field of view is displayed in near real-time while the vehicle is stationary.