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Nokia Launches a Surprising VR Device: Professional Camera

Nokia OZO VR Camera

Without any doubt, Nokia is one of most versatile companies in the world. This company was founded in 1865, and the products the company made since its inception till today is almost deserves to name the company chameleon, not Nokia. After a lot of changes, the company is now consisted out of three business units (Nokia Networks, Nokia Here and Nokia Technologies), one of which is currently in the process of sale, probably to a joint German automotive maker effort (VAG AG represented by Audi, Daimler AG represented by Mercedes-Benz and BMW).

Given that Nokia Technologies is tasked with the return to mobile space, we were caught off-guard when the company announced OZO, a virtual reality camera for professional use. That’s right, Nokia announced a VR product which is not intended to consume VR/AR content, but rather to create one.

As you can see in this one-minute teaser, OZO is a professional-grade camera intended for movie makers, and the price is probably going to be as such. Specifications are not available at the time, thus it is a question are those eight sensors capable of supporting 1080p or 4K (UHD) resolution. Given the availability of the 4K sensors, we would be surprised if Nokia would not offer 4K recording capabilities, which would bring 30K, a 30,720 x 17,280 pixel resolution (albeit not in this format, as OZO is a beyond 360 degree camera). With a potentially 530 million pixel image, OZO could be the first camera to almost reach human eye resolution (567 million ‘pixels’):

OZO captures stereoscopic 3D video through eight (8) synchronized global shutter sensors and spatial audio through eight (8) integrated microphones. Software built for OZO enables real-time 3D viewing, with an innovative playback solution that removes the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image ­­- a time-consuming process with solutions currently in the marketplace.

OZO’s filmed content can be published for commercially available VR viewing hardware such as head mounted displays (HMDs), with immersive, full 360-degree imaging and spatially accurate original sound. OZO also integrates into existing professional workflows and works with third-party tools, dramatically simplifying content production at all stages.

According to the company, OZO will come with a complete workflow package, courtesy of collaboration with Jaunt, Inc:

“Our mission has always been to provide filmmakers with tools and techniques that fuel their creative process, unlocking the true potential of their vision.” said Cliff Plumer, President of Jaunt Studios. “Our partnership with Nokia is another big step for us to continue to provide our partners with the most cutting-edge technology to further cater to their creative needs. Jaunt will continue to work with its own line of cameras, as well as the best-of-breed that others have to offer, to ensure content creators have access to the best tool for the job.”

More details will be revealed on August 4th, 2015, when the new video debuts. For now, we are left wondering in what way Nokia Technologies is reinventing itself – given that Nokia Networks is busy with Alcatel-Lucent acquisition for €15.6 billion ($17.1b) and Here is currently being sold. Could it be that Nokia Technologies plans to rule the VR/AR world just like they ruled the display in 1990s and mobile world up to 2011?