Nokia launches virtual reality camera

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nokia Has a New 360-Degree VR Camera for Filmmakers.

SAN FRANCISCO (California) — Nokia introduced a virtual reality (VR) camera called Ozo late yesterday (July 28), aiming to become the first company to actually sell a professional camera capable of 3D VR video to professionals.Nokia Oyj unveiled a virtual-reality camera for professional filmmakers and content creators, seeking to profit from the wealth of intellectual property rights it built up during its years as a mobile-phone powerhouse.

The ball-shaped gadget has eight shutter sensors capturing 3D footage for the creation of content for devices such as virtual-reality headsets, Nokia said in a statement. First teasing the device via Twitter with a partial picture, the same image shown on the event’s invite, minutes later Nokia revealed its new 360-degree view camera called the OZO. The camera is part of a full-blown production solution, allowing film makers to review footage in real-time and export video that has been properly stitched together with little delay. Nokia didn’t share a price point for the camera yet, but one shouldn’t expect it to be cheap — company representatives told reporters at a press event in Los Angeles yesterday that it may come with a five-figure price tag.

Aimed at professionals in content creation, it captures 3D stereoscopic video through eight image sensors and eight microphones mounted on the sphere. A slew of virtual-reality headsets are hitting the market as companies such as Facebook Inc., Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. seek to win over users with the ski-goggles-styled gadgets that let people immerse themselves in virtual games or experience new locations. We expect VR soon will radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events and each other.” Inside there are eight synchronized global shutter sensors designed to capture stereoscopic 3D video, eight integrated microphones capable of recording spatial audio and a combined battery and SSD cartridge (additional technical specifications will be released in the coming months). 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. Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, has three businesses left after it sold its phone-unit to Microsoft Corp. for about $7.5 billion: the networks division, which makes up about 90 percent of revenue, a maps business, and a research and development unit which is responsible for licensing its patents.

Software developed for the device allows users to see 3D imagery in real time, and there’s no need to stitch together panoramic images, according to Nokia. The debut of the OZO, and its intriguing look, bodes well for the future of virtual reality content creation, as it now seems like every major technology brand wants a piece of the VR space.

Google announced a relatively low-cost system consisting of 16 GoPro cameras at its own developer conference this year, and job advertisements suggest that the search company may even be building a full-blown camera system as well. Nokia also announced a commitment to support OZO by California-based VR production company Jaunt, as well as a contest for proposals for immersive VR short films. 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. Aside from Oculus, recent VR platforms have included Sony’s Project Morpheus, Samsung’s Gear VR, the HTC Vive and Microsoft’s HoloLens, which is aimed at augmented reality applications. The OZO is a new direction for Nokia, which pulled out of the consumer market with the sale of its smartphone business to Microsoft and is reportedly in talks to sell its Here mapping business.

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