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New GoPro Camera Harness Captures Dog's-Eye View

There are few things more popular on YouTube than a good pet video.

Now GoPro, the camera maker known more for videos of BASE-jumping, paragliding, and mountain biking, has gotten into the cute dog video business.

This past week, the company unveiled the GoPro Fetch. It's a harness that allows users to mount one of GoPro's durable, high-definition cameras on their dogs, capturing footage from a pet's-eye view.

The company was inspired to take on the project by users' do-it-yourself attempts to attach GoPro cameras to their pets.

"As long as I've been here, this has been one of the products people have really been asking for," says Josh Druker, senior manager for advanced mounts at GoPro. Druker leads a five-person team with essentially one job: creating new ways for people to attach cameras to helmets, skis, surfboards or, in this case, dogs.

According to GoPro, the adjustable harness can fit dogs as small as 15 pounds and as large as 120 pounds.

Druker says this is the result of extensive testing on a range of dog breeds.

"It's not just size testing that you're looking for. It's kind of the skeletal structure underneath," says Druker. "Dobermans are very angular and narrow, whereas you take something like a Newfoundland, and it's very broad and hairy."

The company says attaching the Fetch to dogs trained in search and rescue could provide a practical use for the harness. But the ultimate goal is to allow dog owners to "share their passion," as Druker says, in much the same way that extreme sports enthusiasts have.

In theory, Druker says, GoPro users could attach the camera to a variety of different pets. After all, one of GoPro's most popular videos features Hawaiian surfer Kai Holt, who regularly takes to the waves with his pet pig, Kama.

Druker says the only real limit is your pet's size and temperament.

"You'd have to have a really friendly cat for this," he says.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tom Dreisbach is a correspondent on NPR's Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories.