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NOKIA BACK AGAIN WITH $60,000 "OZO" VIRTUAL REALITY CAMERA, SPECIFICATIONS AND FIRST LOOK


NOKIA BACK AGAIN WITH $60,000 "OZO" VIRTUAL REALITY CAMERA, SPECIFICATIONS AND REVIEW

Nokia may be a dinosaur of the smartphone world, but the Finnish company has been pushing its technology smarts in other verticals recently — one of which is the Ozo virtual reality (VR) camera.


Nokia was best known as a maker of affordable cellphones until it sold its mobile business to Microsoft in 2014. Now the Finnish firm is making a hardware comeback — with a $US60,000 ($79,000) virtual-reality camera that shoots video few people can watch today.
The camera is the brainchild of Ramzi Haidamus, a Dolby Laboratories veteran whom Nokia hired to be president of its technology division in July 2014, just after it got out of the cellphone business.
Haidamus said Nokia asked him to figure out what to do with its consumer-hardware division, so he took a tour of the company’s labs. He said the first thing that caught his attention was an early prototype of a virtual-reality camera.
“It was very ugly,” Haidamus said Thursday, in an interview at the European launch of the camera in London. “All you saw was eight lenses in the air and a bunch of wires. It looked like a spider with eight eyes.”
A year and a half later, the product became the Nokia OZO, a sleek, grey, cantaloupe-size sphere with eight lenses inside it.
To film virtual-reality video nowadays, a filmmaker typically has to put, say, seven GoPro cameras on a rig, while pointing the lenses in different directions. Nokia says the OZO is the first high-end virtual-reality camera that is ready to go out of the box, with all the cameras and microphones contained within one device.
Haidamus said that at $US60,000, the OZO was meant to be sold or rented to professional filmmakers, though he said Nokia planned to later introduce cheaper versions of the camera for hobbyists.
Obviously, the $60,000 price point makes the OZO more suitable for professionals (or those with large budgets), and as the first out-of-box solution to VR filming, this may be a fair charge. Still, in order to make the OZO more accessible to the general public, Nokia has indicated that it has plans for cheaper versions in the near future. So if you’re looking to truly film in VR (rather than trying to stitch together a makeshift multi-camera system), you can now thank Nokia for the OZO.

NOKIA OZO SPECIFICATIONS