GoPro Action Cameras Get Major Upgrade

New combo kit adds remote control, syncs live with mobile devices

GoPro HD cameras—those sweet little bomb-proof, on-the-go gadgets that you’ve probably heard about, seen clipped to somebody's helmet, or maybe even use to document your own adventures—just got a lot sweeter with the release of the new $99 Wi-Fi BacPac and Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit.

The downfall of the basic GoPro camera has always been its lack of viewfinder or playback screen to dial in a perfect camera angle. GoPro's $80 BacPac LCD add-on, which has been on the market for a little while now, helps take the guesswork out of camera setup with an LCD screen that attaches to the back of the camera. 

This new combo kit takes the BacPac concept a step further, with a WiFi-enabled "BacPac" unit that beams a signal to your tablet or smartphone for remote viewing. It also comes with a separate remote control unit that gives the user full-function camera control from up to 600 feet away.

GoPro gave Skateboarder Ryan Sheckler a new combo kit and tasked him with putting it through its paces. Check out the video below for what he came up with.

Keep in mind this $99 upgrade kit does not include the GoPro HD Hero or HD Hero2 camera, which retail from $199 to $299, respectively. Still, GoPro continues to be the low-price leader in the category. Contour, GoPro’s main rival in the point-of-view action camera game, has a similar all-in-one product in its Contour+ unit, which, for $500, offers a rugged one-piece design (no BacPacs to deal with) and beams a playback image to a smartphone or tablet via a Bluetooth signal. GoPro one-ups Contour, though, with its new remote feature.

The new Combo Kit is on sale now, but a future version of the GoPro app that ties the whole shebang together—allowing users to tranfer video footage to their mobile devices via WiFi, or stream video directly to the web—is still under development. When that update is ready, you can skip the studio, and shred straight to the web.