Over the past year, we've seen an explosion in the number of virtual reality (VR) headsets looking to stake a claim for our eyeballs. But for any of these to succeed, there needs to be VR content to immerse ourselves in. Nokia is hoping to fill this burgeoning need with Ozo, the world's first commercially available VR camera aimed at content creation professionals.
With a spherical form-factor, the Ozo looks similar to some panoramic cameras, like the Squido and Panono – or a training remote for sharpening your lightsaber skills. However, with its ability to capture stereoscopic 3D video and audio thanks to the eight synchronized global shutter sensors and eight integrated microphones that dot the device's surface, the Ozo boasts real-time 3D viewing capabilities. This means the time-consuming stitching process common to other panoramic cameras is avoided.
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Nokia says content filmed with Ozo will be compatible with commercially available VR headsets, such as Samsung’s Gear VR, and will slot into existing professional workflows thanks to compatibility with existing third-party content-creation tools. Palo Alto-based VR production company Jaunt Studios pledged its support for the device through its post-production services.
"We're thrilled to introduce Ozo to the content creation world, and to define a completely new category of virtual reality capture and playback solutions," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. "Ozo aims to advance the next wave of innovation in VR by putting powerful tools in the hands of professionals who will create amazing experiences for people around the world. We expect that virtual reality experiences will soon radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events and each other. With Ozo, we plan to be at the heart of this new world."
With the device not set to ship until the fourth quarter of this year, Nokia says it will reveal full specifications and pricing details at a later date.
The video below gives a sneak peek at Ozo.