BMW is teaming up with GoPro so that drivers can operate the action cameras straight from the dashboard.
The app mirrors the camera's controls and viewfinder to the dashboard screen. Photo:AFP
What’s the point of owning a snarling, fire-breathing BMW M3, M4 or M5 if you can’t take it to the track and let it fully off its leash? And, in this increasingly connected world, what’s the point of taking it to the track if you can’t capture the action for posterity? A list of lap times is one thing, but a glorious high-definition video of your shrewd overtaking moves, expertise at finding the apex of each bend and a demonstration of the fact that only your razor-sharp reflexes avoided a crash is another entirely.
GoPro’s range of extremely durable, extremely mobile cameras have proved a sensation for extreme sports types, from skateboarders to basejumpers for this very reason and now, thanks to a new partnership with BMW, they’re set to capture sensational driving footage too.
The two companies have been working together and now BMW and Mini owners will be able to remotely operate a GoPro Hero Camera via their cars’ infotainment system.
Simply mount the camera outside or inside the vehicle, launch the GoPro app on an iPhone and plug the phone into the car and the car’s dashboard display becomes the camera’s viewfinder.
The camera can be mounted anywhere on the car and operated wirelessly. Photo:AFP
Then, using the vehicle’s infotainment system controls, drivers can 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 -- then just hit record.
The screen also displays things like remaining battery, the strength of the wireless connection and how much recording space is left.
Best of all, the new integration, which is a first for both companies, will be available for free from July onwards.
However, there are one or two catches. The first is, obviously that you’ll need a GoPro Hero3+ camera and the right mounts to fix it to the hood, wing, roof or to the dashboard facing outwards. The second is that your car will have to have the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option fitted, and lastly, the new version of the GoPro app that makes it all happen is iPhone-compatible only.