Nokia has just shown the world how it is reinventing itself by revealing on Tuesday a $60,000 virtual reality camera called OZO which industry sources say is futuristic technology and every bit cutting edge.
Nokia had in July last itself given out hints of the OZO, the virtual reality camera designed to capture video and audio in full, 360-degree glory. The camera is expected to be a game-changer in the VR market where artists creating live-action VR content are using a variety of mix and match solutions in the absence of something like Nokia's wonder.
OZO was revealed at a special event in Los Angeles and touted as an integrated, professional solution that is not cheap. Technology watchers felt that a new Nokia was once again taking shape and taking on a new identity, much as an old lumber business did when it leapfrogged into the mobile phone era and then led the world in that realm as a giant for decades.
Verge.com quoted Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies as saying "When I joined in September of 2014, I was tasked with coming up with a new strategy for Nokia Technologies." An early prototype of OZ0 â€” a project begun in 2013 - grabbed his attention.
"It was a very early prototype; a lab rat. But the video 3D accuracy, and the audio accuracy were phenomenal, even at that stage. And I knew we had a winner, because if you were to think of the market that's being disrupted, introducing a brand new medium, we were catching it at the right time," he told Verge. com.
OZO is expected to begin shipping in Q1 of 2016 and enters a world where customers have to choose between several emerging VR possibilities - fromGoogle Cardboard and Gear VR, to Playstation VR and Oculus Rift.
VR content creation is going to be big business and Nokia wants in on it. Haidamus told Verge. com about what aspects of the market Nokia is looking to grab. "The content creation piece, and format, of course. And then we're going to partner everywhere else." In other words, Nokia is going to give camera companies like Arri and RED a run for their money.
A key feature that sets OZO apart for filmmakers is the inclusion of live monitoring and it is a tech marvel because it uses a technique called 'dynamic rendering' whereby the film maker can don VR goggles and watch imagery that is being captured by OZO's eight lenses and microphones in real time.
Nokia sees OZO as necessary for documentary film makers, journalists and even educational and industrial markets. The camera itself looks streamlined and bears the imprint of top class Nokia design. And then, of course, Nokia will have to figure out how to hone this superb baby down from the top of the pyramid to the bottom so that everyone can get to buy it, see the world in 360 degrees and capture it too. Digital narratives will never be the same again, if Nokia's gameplan with OZO succeeds.
Verge.com cited Haidamus as saying: "This is the first product from Nokia Technologies since the phone days and they just really wanted to outdo themselves."
According to the ozo.nokia.com site, the VR camera uses just one single video file to store all video and audio data in perfect sync. Each interchangeable Digital Cartridge provides 45 minutes of recording time, and saves all video and audio to a single file â€“ rather than a handful of SD cards. There is but one output cable and onne power and memory cartridge.
Ozo's real-time monitoring and wireless control software simultaneously displays all camera viewpoints, and allows precise sensor adjustments on the fly, it adds. One can see and hear everything Ozo captures via the unique Virtual Reality monitor output, providing directors real-time interactive feedback of cast performances.