The technology sphere has been hit today by Nokia shutting down the virtual reality camera OZO.
Two years after releasing the innovative product, NOKIA axed over 300 people across the US, the UK and Finland, and decided to focus on digital healthcare.
The OZO camera was launched in 2015 when the virtual reality market has just started booming, and the product was initially priced at $60,000, but after facing a low performance, the price dropped to $25,000.
Nokia will continue to support the already existing owners of the camera, but it will not produce any more of them due to the slower than expected sales.
The Finnish company is well-known for its timeless phone Nokia 3310, and the first virtual reality will not stop them from exploring the VR market further. Nokia is looking into licensing more virtual reality products in the future.
The OZO Virtual Reality Camera
The original OZO, and its follow-up the OZO+, had been presented to the market as the only camera with an ability to capture the highest quality 360-degree motion picture. The gadget itself was not aimed at hobbyists as such but rather at entertainment and Hollywood film industry in general, with Disney being one of the first ones to use it for its Jungle Book film.
The device featured eight cameras and microphones, which were responsible for capturing both spherical video and spatial sound.
Without a surprise, the camera became one of the favourites for documentaries industry. London-based production house Alchemy VR used it to shoot a documentary about the Galapagos Islands. One of the creators admitted the surprising easiness and lightness of using the OZO camera.
At the same time, others were more critical – another UK-based production house SpeedVR complained about an enormous file size that the camera created; hence it struggled with capturing shadows or highlights.
Following the complaints, Nokia released a follow-up system – the OZO+ – which promised sharper and cleaner images, as well as a better dynamic range. Even though it fixed the earlier mentioned bugs, the sales were still disappointing, and the price had to drop from $45,000 to $25,000 in just a few months.
One of the most significant challenges that Nokia has to face was the early adopters market which turned out to be an ever smaller niche than first expected. Since the virtual reality technology was still in its extremely early stages, the users took a long time to process the content.
What do you think of the fact that Nokia shut down virtual reality camera OZO? Do you agree with the decision? Let us know in the comments below!