You certainly heard that the next big thing in tech industry is VR. VR stands for Virtual Reality and represents a technology that virtually projects objects like they are in real-life space. To taste VR, you need a VR supported ‘glasses’ and of course VR content. The content can be digitally created via Computer Programs or real life scenes captured in 360° video. Nokia saw the potential in VR and decided to build the first commercially available professional VR camera – the Nokia OZO.
Nokia OZO looks like a ball with an approximate radius of 8cm. It features 8 camera sensors with a resolution of 2K x 2K and a lens angle of 195 degrees per lens. Together the 8 camera lenses can capture full-spherical 4K video in 30 frames per second. OZO also has 8 microphones that record full-spherical sound in high definition.
The body of the OZO is made of aluminum and weights 4.2kg with battery inserted. The design won an IF Gold Design Award in 2015, and the device is completely designed and manufactured in Finland. OZO comes with a 500GB SSD – what’s enough for 45 minutes of video recording. OZO also supports external hard drives for extended media storage.
But OZO’s impressive design and specifications are only half of the story. What really makes the OZO great it’s the way the software handles recorded video and audio. Everything is saved to a single file and it supports live virtual reality preview for real-time interactive feedback of cast performances. Nokia made 3 programs for producers to fully use OZO’s potential. OZO Remote allows wireless control of the OZO camera, and supports Live Preview with an Oculus Rift headset. OZO Creator allow recording footage and transcoding camera-original OZO files to industry standard file formats. Lastly, OZO preview allows post production preview of the camera-original recordings for a much wider range of devices than with OZO Creator. All software is only available for Mac OS.
To see the magic in action, you can use any supported Android device with a ‘Google Cardboard’-like VR case or real VR devices like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive to view videos down below. If you don’t have any, don’t worry you can view it in your browser and use your pointer or finger (if you use a touch screen) to navigate.
The Virtual and Augmented Reality market will hit $150 billion by 2020, and Nokia is taking necessary steps to make OZO the best professional VR camera in the market. Nokia partnered with big entertainment companies like ‘20th Century Fox’ and Disney to promote OZO. Nokia signed a multi-year strategic partnership with Disney, and first results can be seen on the premiere of ‘Alice through the looking glass’ movie.
Currently, Nokia OZO is the only professional VR camera on the market. With OZO, Nokia penetrated the professional camera market which is dominated by companies like RED and Arri, who lack VR solutions. OZO’s retail price is €55.000 and that’s the clearest sign for whom is it meant for. A logical step forward would be an introduction of an affordable VR camera with similar OZO design, but a much lower price point. Quality is at stake because OZO is manufactured in Europa, but an affordable version (sub €500) must be manufactured in Eastern Asia to be profitable.
We can’t wait what new things will Nokia Technologies team bring up next to the market.