GoPro revealed its new Hero 5 Black camera in September, but the camera has apparently been hiding a trick up its sleeve since then. The company announced this week that it will start letting users take the data from the sensors inside the Hero 5 Black and overlay it on top of their footage.
The “telemetry feature,” as GoPro is calling it, can show things like speed, altitude, and G-force. It will also pull data from the GPS unit inside the Hero 5 Black to generate a map of where you were and how far you went as you captured that footage. Users will be able to move these telemetry overlays around and resize them, too. The data overlays won’t, however, work with the new Hero 5 Session, which doesn’t have a GPS unit
GoPro is not the first action camera maker to offer a feature like this — it’s been a main selling point of Garmin’s cameras since that company got into this market in 2014. And there’s a catch here, too: you have to use GoPro’s desktop editor (Quik for Desktop) to access all this data. That’s a shame, because GoPros have gotten a lot easier to use on the go in the last year or so thanks to some big refinements to the company’s mobile app.
You’ll need version 2.1 of Quik for Desktop to work with the new telemetry feature. Once you have it, click on the settings wheel and flip the “Gauges” toggle. The process after that is also a bit tricky right now. After you pull up a clip and get the telemetry to show up, you’ll have to save it as a new clip — if you try to immediately export that footage to Facebook or YouTube, it won’t bring the data along with it.
The feature isn’t going to draw in any new users, or do much for people who use the company’s cameras to capture family moments or create more artistic videos. But it’s a nice addition for core GoPro users — the ones who tend to use the cameras while they surf, swim, bike, race, skydive, or do any other sort of crazy activity.