To date GoPro has only confirmed plans for another Max-series camera in an investor call, a follow-up to 2019’s 360-degree Max action camera.
Only one hardware capability is mentioned, the ability to shoot 5.3K 360-degree footage at up to 12-bit color depth. GoPro does not typically mention color depth, but the GoPro Hero 10 Black is limited to 8-bit color in-camera.
The real purpose of the document is to outline a GoPro reframing system, used to turn 360-degree videos into clips that can be viewed easily on a traditional flat display.
While the majority of its 29 pages read like a dull summary of what the GoPro Max already does, the later pages introduce several concepts that show the kind of videos you may be able to capture easily with a GoPro Max 2.
GoPro outlines “scene” based recognition of types of clip, that will take a different approach to auto-framing the content based on what happens. This could relate to the speed at which the camera is moving, signalling an action-packed scenario, where the camera points and what appears in the scene.
The system is able to recognise people, animals and vehicles, crop into and track them as the video plays out.
Much of this is already available in Insta360’s recently released Insta360 One RS 1in 360 Edition, but more ambitious editing methods are outlined too.
For example, the patent talks about dynamic multi-view scenarios, where the camera will crop into and either bounce between or show side-by-side multiple people engaged in an interview. Or a simple conversation.
GoPro details a mode where the field of view shift in and out in time with the user’s left and right footfalls. And another in which the view width and angle change based on the speed at which the camera travels.
All these points together build the picture of a more intelligent and dynamic editing system than GoPro currently offers, allowing for more deliberate-looking automated edits than are possible with the original GoPro Max at present.
As ever, the usual patent caveat applies. The existence of a document like this does not prove the technologies detailed actually exist. However, this does not read like a speculative patent filing.
GoPro is expected to announce a new Max-series camera this year.