GoPro Inc could soon face one of its toughest rivals yet as startup Revl announces it received $2m in investment for its smart action camera. Revl’s signature device is a fully stabilized, waterproof camera that has “intelligent features”. It can be mounted on the strut of a kiteboard or a skier’s helmet, and it turns out videos that are smooth and clear regardless of the user’s position.
Revl’s founder and CEO, Eric Sanchez, is a former Sikorsky Aircraft engineer. The team behind Revl is made up of enthusiasts of sports such as kiteboarding who “got tired of spending hours editing shaky and rotating footage.” Their camera uses technology that can always keep its view perfectly level with the horizon.
Revl’s website says they wanted to create an action camera that lets users enjoy the moment without worrying about how their footage will turn out so they “can spend less time editing and more time having fun.”
Video footage on the website makes no secret of the firm’s desire to take on GoPro. One video boasts that it is “the only camera that can do kiteloops” and shows the footage to prove it.
Sanchez said in a press release: “We are excited to have the support of experienced investors – each industry pioneers that are investing in creating the next generation of sharable video. This investment will enable our team to finalize product development and bring the world’s smartest action camera to the market.
Some big names are already backing Revl, including Sony, Frog Design, and Ambarella.
More than just stable videos
The funds will be used to ramp up production of the camera and develop its companion app for iOS. The device will be equipped with chips and sensors that help it do much more than turn out stable videos.
The smart video editor app will use data from the Revl camera to detect notable moments the user might want to highlight. For example, if a user records himself skiing off of a ski jump, the app will be able to automatically extract a clip that begins right when he heads down the ramp and stops after he lands.
The device will be sold through a crowdfunding campaign that will be launched later this year. The firm’s website is offering an “early bird discount” to buyers who sign up for their email list right now.
Bill Tai led Revl’s seed round, which included investors such as Frog Ventures, Y Combinator, Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, and Heavybit Industries founder James Lindenbaum.
GoPro Inc (GPRO) no longer undisputed leader
GoPro has been dominating the market for action cameras, but their Hero has been plagued with complaints about shaky footage that can be disorienting to watch. Revl is not just taking aim at GoPro and other action cam makers like Canon and Nikon. They are also targeting firms that make accessories for smoother smartphone videos, like Steadicam.