Nokia axes OZO VR camera development

11 October, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Nokia is giving up on VR – 300 jobs at risk

Now, Nokia Technologies is pivoting from VR to digital health.

Nokia OZO.NokiaNokia announced on Tuesday that it is halting production on its €23,500 (£21,000) virtual reality (VR) camera, OZO, which it hailed as the world's best 360 VR camera.

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The unit was one of three that Nokia retained following the sale of its handset business to Microsoft in 2013.

This will result in job losses in the UK, US and Finland with up to 310 roles affected. Nokia's camera is created to be used by professionals but VR today is designed for the average consumers with 360° cameras from competitors selling for a fraction of the price of the OZO+.

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Nokia will now shift focus to its digital health portfolio by way of Withings which it acquired in 2016. The camera captured 4K images and video with help from eight wide-angle cameras, which came in a package that weighed 9.3 pounds. It's been over a year since the buyout was finalised by former Nokia employees in Finland, after they formed HMD - a company name with the potential to cause a degree of confusion for a virtual reality (VR) website.

The VR-enabled camera was sold at United States dollars 45,000, although the original price was quoted as USD 60,000.

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It's turn away from VR comes amid the predicted growth in the industry. Clearly things have not taken off in the way it had expected, which now also raises questions on whether the future of filmmaking does lie with VR. That's a not-inconsiderable chunk of Nokia Technologies's staff, either, which now numbers around 1,090. Lee, who previously served as Samsung North America's CEO, was hired just four months back as Nokia's new global president.

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