Nokia today introduced Ozo, a new virtual reality camera geared toward people who make content.
The device features eight synchronized shutter sensors and eight microphones to produce stereoscopic three-dimensional video, according to a statement from the company. Special software for the device will allow people to view three-dimensional content in real time and doesn’t require people to put together panoramic images ahead of time.
The product came out of Nokia’s research and development labs in Finland and will be made in Finland, too. Prices are not yet available.
Several other tech companies are developing virtual reality hardware. Google, which has been developing an app ecosystem for its Cardboard viewer, announced at the Google I/O developer conference the Jump project for filming virtual reality video that can work with a rig using as many as 16 cameras. GoPro has developed just such a rig capable of recording stereoscopic film. Meanwhile Facebook is behind the Oculus Rift headset, and Microsoft is developing the HoloLens augmented reality headset.
“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.”
Conceived at the company’s R&D facilities in Tampere, Finland, OZO made its first appearance at an industry event in Los Angeles attended by representatives from major studios, production houses and media and technology companies. Nokia will conduct final testing and refinements to OZO in partnership with industry professionals, in advance of the product’s commercial release. Final pricing and full technical specifications will be announced at a future date, with shipments anticipated in Q4 2015. OZO will be manufactured in Finland.
OZO captures stereoscopic 3D video through eight (8) synchronized global shutter sensors and spatial audio through eight (8) integrated microphones. Software built for OZO enables real-time 3D viewing, with an innovative playback solution that removes the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image - a time-consuming process with solutions currently in the marketplace.
OZO’s filmed content can be published for commercially available VR viewing hardware such as head mounted displays (HMDs), with immersive, full 360-degree imaging and spatially accurate original sound. OZO also integrates into existing professional workflows and works with third-party tools, dramatically simplifying content production at all stages.
Also today, Palo Alto-based VR production company Jaunt Inc. announced a commitment to support OZO, both by offering the camera for use in Jaunt Studios and by supporting content produced with OZO through its post-production services. Jaunt is the leading developer of the hardware, software, tools, and applications to enable the creation of cinematic VR. Through its studio arm, Jaunt Studios, the company works with leading creatives - from brands to
artists to filmmakers - to create cutting-edge content.
“Our mission has always been to provide filmmakers with tools and techniques that fuel their creative process, unlocking the true potential of their vision.” said Cliff Plumer, President of Jaunt Studios. “Our partnership with Nokia is another big step for us to continue to provide our partners with the most cutting-edge technology to further cater to their creative needs. Jaunt will continue to work with its own line of cameras, as well as the best-of-breed that others have to offer, to ensure content creators have access to the best tool for the job.”
As an end-to-end solution, OZO aims to set a new standard as the preferred method for professional capture, editing and playback of cinematic VR content.