Nokia announces virtual reality camera for professional content creators
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Nokia today announced OZO, the first commercially available virtual reality (VR) camera designed and built for professional content creators and the first in a planned portfolio of digital media solutions from Nokia Technologies, the company’s advanced technology and licensing business.
“We’re thrilled to introduce OZO to the content creation world, and to define a completely new category of virtual reality capture and playback solutions,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. “OZO aims to advance the next wave of innovation in VR by putting powerful tools in the hands of professionals who will create amazing experiences for people around the world. We expect that virtual reality experiences will soon radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events and each other. With OZO, we plan to be at the heart of this new world.”
When Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset business in 2013, two big questions hovered above all. The first was “why?” and we never got a convincing answer: Microsoft wrote off $7.6 billion in Nokia costs this month, higher than the purchase price. The second question was what would become of the rest of Nokia, which had just exited the business it had once dominated. The company said it planned to focus on maps, network infrastructure, and “advanced technologies” — but what those technologies would be went unsaid.
Today Nokia is beginning to lay out its vision. At an event for the entertainment industry in Los Angeles tonight, Nokia is announcing Ozo, a next-generation camera for capturing audio and video in 360 degrees. Nokia intends for the device, which is now in its preproduction phase, to become the default mode of shooting virtual-reality experiences for Hollywood, the media, and the advertising industry. A formal launch, along with a final sale price, is planned for the fall. But Ozo is not a consumer camera — the device is expected to sell in the mid-five figures.
Nokia OZO – The VR Camera from the Finnish giant
To begin with, the Nokia OZO will be able to shoot 360-degree live videos, a notable upgrade over the 180-degree form that’s prevalent in competing VR products. To show this capability, Nokia broadcasted a stream of a concert seven miles away from the event location. The stream also had 360-degree audio support, another feature that’s not exactly common.
The camera itself comes with 8 synchronized 2K v 2K sensors. For storage, you get a 500 GB solid state drive, with the capability to shoot 45-minute videos in a single go.
Nokia also unveiled multiple accessories for the OZO. These are available as of now, including a $1,500 docking station and a $5,000 spare cartridge for storing additional scenes.
What’s next for Nokia VR?
The OZO supports all of the VR platforms which are available, including those of the most popular VR headsets out there. Nokia is currently in talks with other companies on a number of projects, several of whom have already started, including live streaming basketball games and shooting 360-degree VR movies.
What we already knew then is just the same as now though: the price, which stands at a staggering $60,000. You can book one with a $5,000 upfront payment.
This product isn’t geared towards the mainstream VR market, at least not yet. It is more suited for the professional and industrial side for now.
The Nokia OZO is expected to ship in the first half of 2016.