Since the sale of its phone business to Microsoft in 2013, Nokia has been looking to reinvent itself in a range of new markets. One of these new markets appears to be in virtual reality equipment, with the company announcing a professional virtual reality camera called the Ozo, designed especially for the entertainment industry.
The Ozo is a spherical device featuring eight camera sensors with synchronized shutters, and eight microphones for directional audio recording. It can record stereoscopic 3D and 360-degree content for a virtual reality headset, allowing professional teams to create awesome VR experiences.
There are a couple of key features the Ozo brings to the table that will make creating VR content a lot easier for professionals. Firstly, the Ozo supports live monitoring, meaning a director can put on a VR headset and view footage as it's being captured, albeit with a few stitching issues (at least in the current prototypes).
The camera can also render low-resolution VR footage in just a few minutes, much faster than existing VR camera setups that don't have the ability to stitch together footage on the fly. This gives the production team the ability to check that their VR footage is good without having to wait hours for it to be stitched together.
The Ozo can be attached to standard tripods, and supports capture in standard formats to internal SSDs or through an SDI cable. It can be operated remotely over Wi-Fi as well, and can be powered by a battery pack where wall power is not available.
Nokia hasn't given a price for their Ozo camera just yet, although as it's designed for professional use, it's expected to cost at least five figures. The camera will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015.