What now? That’s what Nokia had to ask itself after selling its handset division to Microsoft, and it’s one that the company is still trying to answer. Nokia has been exploring a number of different areas to expand in, and has dipped its toes into a handful of new markets, the latest of which is the virtual reality market. Earlier this year, the company teased a camera that would be capable of recording a full virtual reality experience, and last night, the company officially unveiled the device. Known as Ozo, this $60,000 camera is clearly aimed at professionals, and has all of the bells and whistles, not to mention the price tag, to prove it.
Nokia started life as a pulp mill and spent a while making gas masks, before capturing the hearts of dumbphone users everywhere with the 3310. So it kinda makes sense that its next Big Thing is a $60,000 all-in-one solution for making VR experiences. The Ozo camera was first teased back in July, but now we’ve got all the details: it’s basically a ball studded with eight 2K by 2K cameras, each the same distance apart as the human eyeball. Because audio is ‘at least half’ of the VR experience, there’s the same number of microphones. All that combines to create a genuine 360-degree field of view, with fully immersive audio to match. But the real magic isn’t just capturing the images: the Ozo assembles the feeds from the cameras together in real time, allowing for VR livestreams. If you want to save the footage for later, an onboard (removable) SSD can do that too. If that sounds like a lot of pro-level features, you’d be right: at $60,000 without accessories, this is something for production companies with money to splash. But it’s also the first real out-of-the-box solution for live VR. Companies like Lytro, GoPro and Jaunt have already built 360-degree VR rigs, but none of them can offer the instant VR experience that Ozo is selling.