In case you were waiting for a new Nokia smartphone, you might need to wait more but the company has now unveiled the OZO as its first virtual reality (VR) camera. The new VR camera is specifically designed for filmmakers and media professionals and is the first in a planned portfolio of digital media solutions from Nokia Technologies, which is among the three major business units of the Finnish company.
The Nokia OZO debuted at an industry event in Los Angeles on Tuesday that was attended by representatives from major studios, production houses and media and technology companies. The company has not yet announced any details about its price, but mentions in a statement that the new VR camera will be launched in the fourth quarter this year and will be manufactured in Finland.
Unlike the VR experience on GoPro or on some other imaging technology solutions, the OZO camera is designed to deliver a high-end, professional experience. It is claimed to capture stereoscopic 3D video using eight synchronised global shutter sensors and spatial audio through eight integrated microphones.
Nokia has designed a proprietary software for the OZO VR camera that enables 3D viewing without the need of pre-assemble a panoramic image.
On unveiling the OZO VR camera, Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, said:
“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. 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.”
Content captured through the OZO VR camera can be published directly on VR viewing hardware such as head mounted displays (HMDs). Further, it can work with third-party tools.
Nokia has partnered with Palo Alto-based VR production company Jaunt to start offering OZO video recording solutions in the industry. Jaunt Studios, the studio arm of the production company, will start using OZO for its next productions.
The Nokia OZO VR camera is of course, the company’s latest product but not for end consumers. It would not help the company to regain the market position that it lost after selling Nokia Devices and Services business to Microsoft in September 2013. However, it appears to be an innovation offering for the emerging world of virtual reality.