Nokia launches virtual reality camera for 3D video

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Meet Ozo, Nokia’s new camera for virtual reality content creators.

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia says it’s launching a virtual reality camera that will be able to capture three-dimensional video designed for professional content creators. Nokia introduced a virtual-reality camera called Ozo late Tuesday, aiming to become the first company to actually sell a professional camera capable of capturing 3D VR video.

The Finnish company says that specially designed software enables real-time 3D viewing on hardware such as headsets with full 360-degree imaging and spatially accurate original sound, “capturing true presence.” Nokia, which developed the product at its R&D center in Finland, presented the camera to major studios, production houses, media and technology companies in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and said it will conduct further tests with “industry professionals” before the camera’s commercial release. The project consists of a three-part competition – a concept, pitch and video phase – during which any of Tongal’s 80,000+ community members can submit ideas and videos that take advantage of the extra immersion and dimensions provided by the OZO camera. Two filmmakers with winning pitches will produce their short using the camera along with technical and postproduction support from Nokia, and as a grand prize, the creator of the final winning short will receive their own OZO. “Tongal’s community represents the next new wave of great filmmaking talent.

The camera is part of a full-blown production solution, allowing filmmakers to review footage in real-time and export video that has been properly stitched together with little delay. They’re making films for every screen using new technology and equipment in inventive and resourceful ways,” said James DeJulio, co-founder and president, Tongal. “Virtual reality has exploded in the last year, so exploring this technology with Nokia on this and future projects with our partners opens up limitless possibilities both for this project and the future of storytelling. It’s the company’s initial product for what it sees as a broad push into immersive media, which enables people wearing special headsets to rotate to watch nearly 360 degrees of a filmed or animated scene. This is an exciting new venture for Tongal, and we’re confident our community will jump at the chance to be first to experiment with such cutting-edge technology.” “With the launch of the OZO VR Camera, we really want to get people excited about the possibility of this technology at one of its purest levels, which is storytelling,” said Guido Voltolina, head of presence capture, Nokia. “I’m excited to finally put this tool into the hands of Tongal’s community and the VR community everywhere.” Beginning today, anyone can register at and pitch their 500-character concept submissions for an original virtual reality film. Nokia is billing its Ozo camera as the first high-quality device to be designed for shooting virtual reality cinema, and it’s planning to sell it for thousands of dollars to professionals.

Nokia isn’t the only company looking to build a VR recording solution: Samsung teased such a camera at its developer conference last year, but has released no new information about the project since. It’s likely to face competition from camera companies, including GoPro, which recently showed off a system to capture 360-degree videos. “We believe we can make this an incredible, successful adventure for all of us … to bring amazing stories to life,” Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, told a few dozen Hollywood executives sipping wine at the event.

Google announced a relatively low-cost system consisting of 16 GoPro cameras at its own developer conference this year, and job ads suggest that the search company may even be building a full-blown VR camera system. We expect that virtual reality experiences will soon radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events and each other. Tongal is a platform that opens up its community of talented, independent creators to advertisers, brands and entertainment companies looking to produce unique video content. In the end, there may be more than one winner: Some of these companies may build more affordable rigs for YouTubers looking to explore VR, while others prepare themselves for Hollywood to spend big bucks. With ozo, we plan to be at the heart of this new world.” It is the most significant consumer hardware launch from Nokia ever since it sold the devices and services businesses to Microsoft in 2013.

Tongal’s global creative community creates TV commercials, digital advertising, and original content including feature films and has produced more videos for brands than any other company, resulting in more than $20 million in creator earnings and seven short films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Tongal has collaborated with such iconic brands and organizations as Anhueser-Busch, Procter & Gamble, LEGO, General Mills, Bacardi and NASA on more than 1,000 projects distributed across every type of screen, totaling more than 1 billion views. Jaunt, a start-up that’s been at the forefront of making virtual reality films and editing software, is partnering with Nokia to be an early adopter. Our three businesses are leaders in their fields: Nokia Networks provides broadband infrastructure, software and services; HERE provides mapping, navigation and location intelligence; and Nokia Technologies provides advanced technology development and licensing. While Google, Samsung and Facebook are racing to be the first to launch their respective products, others like Microsoft have already managed to impress many with the HoloLens.

Recently, OnePlus launched its next flagship, the OnePlus 2, at a VR launch event, which turned out to be unique and something never seen during smartphone launch before. Though there are no plans to come to Los Angeles, Haidamus said the region has become increasingly important because of the virtual reality community.

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