Nokia Is Betting On VR Making It In Hollywood

1 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nokia Is Betting On VR Making It In Hollywood.

Designed to capture video in 360°, with quality audio, Nokia Technology’s Ozo is a high-end piece of equipment that is now available for pre-order at $60,000.Nokia Technologies revealed that its developing OZO professional 360-degree 3D virtual reality camera will be available early next year for $60,000, Monday evening during a launch event at the L.A. Nokia Technologies has been working on new business ventures after having dropped their smartphone division in 2014, and virtual reality technology is one of their undertakings.

Hollywood is a big target, and Nokia’s event attracted an estimated 500 guests including filmmakers who have already tested or used one of roughly a dozen OZO prototypes cameras that are already circulating. (Nokia Technologies president Ramzi Haidamus calls the camera “80 percent” finished, because the company intends to respond to customer feedback.) Among the event guests, director Randal Kleiser told The Hollywood Reporter that he’s been using one of the cameras to shoot a 12-episode VR series based on his Defrost pilot. Producer and AMPAS past president Sid Ganis made a test short with the camera and plans to use it again, while New Deal Studios CEO Shannon Gans said her company gave the OZO a test drive on a short title Mutiny.

The video sensor array on the Ozo consists of eight 2k x 2k sensors, each with a 195° field of view, yielding a full 360° x 180° video coverage area and recording at 30 fps. Ozo’s design incorporates a removable digital cartridge at the back, which supports around 45 minutes of recording and saves all video and audio to a single file.

The question is what will be the Citizen Kane.” In addition to narrative filmmaking, Nokia is also experimenting with live events, news, and capturing unique experiences (for instance the camera has already been tested by NASA.). Due to the price point, Haidamus said he expects production rental houses to be a “significant market for us.” Several companies have already thrown their hats in the VR camera arena. We’ve seen a few startups trying their hand at spherical cameras in recent years — such as the likes of Samsung-backed Bublcam, a rather more affordably priced but lower tech option (at circa $800). That was key for aforementioned director Kleiser, who pointed out that since VR involves shooting 360 degrees, a director can’t be “on set” without being in the shot. “You can see live 3D while you are shooting, without being on set,” enthused Kleiser of working with the OZO.

Demonstrating the camera’s ability to handle live video, during the launch event Nokia showed live VR of Best Coast, from the roof of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. Asked if the red carpet of the upcoming Academy Awards is a target, Haidamus acknowledged that there have been discussions, adding “I would love to see us at the Academy Awards for people who have only dreamed of getting a ticket.” The company is drawing on a long history of camera expertise honed during its mobile making years — including a 41MP PureView smartphone camera that caused a splash back in 2012.

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