Nokia announced OZO in their latest Los Angeles press event, a next-generation spherical camera for capturing 360-degree video.
Since Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset business in 2013, the question that has been on everyone’s mind is what will Nokia focus on next? The latest OZO virtual reality camera from Nokia is a hint at what Nokia’s vision and plan for future development of “advanced technologies” is heading.
The latest OZO announcement and event is aimed at courting Hollywood creators to become the default camera for shooting live action virtual reality video. Although the OZO is in its preproduction phase, a formal launch, along with pricing is planned for this fall. The OZO is definitely not a consumer camera with some expecting it to sell in the mid-five figures.
Even with a high rumored price tag, Hollywood has been looking for something like the OZO, a potentially more capable and robust VR capture and production camera system. The OZO will rock eight synchronized sensors and eight integrated microphones. Software built for OZO will enable real-time 3D viewing, with an innovative playback solution that will supposedly remove the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image - a very time-consuming process.
In a move to make post-production even simpler, OZO’s filmed content can be published for head mounted displays (HMDs), with immersive, full 360-degree imaging and spatially accurate original sound.
“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.”
Along with the OZO announcement, Palo Alto-based VR production company Jaunt announced a commitment to support OZO, both by offering the camera for use in Jaunt Studios and by supporting content produced with OZO through its post-production services. Last month Jaunt gave us a first look at their own next-generation camera codenamed NEO.
Nokia says the OZO is the most advanced VR filmmaking platform yet and we are certainly looking forward to getting our hands on one in the near future. With a stunning spherical shape and weighing roughly 6 pounds, the promise of a more complete VR camera capture system from Nokia may be just what the company needs to stay relevant in the ever-changing technology hardware business.
You can visit Nokia’s OZO site by clicking here. The website features a countdown to August 4th when a new OZO video will be released. VRScout has learned that one of the three upcoming videos will feature information about the OZO’s ability to handle parallax correction between its eight sensors.