Nokia announces OZO virtual reality camera

Device will allow professional content creators to create new VR experiences
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Nokia has unveiled the OZO, which it says is the first commercially available virtual reality (VR) camera.

The unit is designed for professional content creators and is the first in a planned portfolio of digital media solutions from Nokia Technologies, the firm's technology and licensing business. 

OZO aims to "set a new standard" as the preferred method for professional capture, editing and playback of cinematic VR content. 

OZO captures stereoscopic 3D video through eight synchronized global shutter sensors and spatial audio through eight integrated microphones. Software built for OZO enables real-time 3D viewing, with a playback solution that removes the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image.

Conceived at the company's R&D facilities in Tampere, Finland, OZO made its first appearance at an industry event in Los Angeles attended by representatives from major studios, production houses and media and technology companies. It will also be manufactured in Finland.

Nokia will conduct final testing and refinements to OZO in partnership with industry professionals, in advance of the product's commercial release this Q4. Final pricing and tech specs will be announced at a later date. 

OZO's filmed content can be published for commercially available VR viewing hardware such as head mounted displays, with 360-degree imaging and 'spatially accurate' original sound. OZO also works with third-party tools.

"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."

VR production company Jaunt has also announced a commitment to support OZO, by offering the camera for use in Jaunt Studios and by supporting content produced with OZO through its post-production services. 

In other VR news, an analyst has speculated that Nintendo's next gaming machine - codenamed the NX - could be the world's first 'social VR' platform.

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