With its Here mapping unit sold off and Microsoft phasing out the brand name from its smartphone division, many have been wondering exactly what Nokia would do next in the mobile space. Turns out the answer is 'extremely high-end virtual reality cameras'.
The Ozo was first revealed last July by Nokia as a camera that can capture video and audio in 360 degrees, making it relatively straightforward to film virtual reality experiences. Currently, the VR market lacks an integrated solution, with those working in the space having to create customised rigs to film, rather than being able to buy a complete solution.
However, that kind of professional-level device will cost anyone hoping to dabble in VR a pretty penny, with the price tag for the Ozo coming in at $60,000 (£39,000). While the Ozo is unlikely to be appearing on many Christmas lists, it does represent a chance for Nokia to position itself as a leader in a newly emerging market, much as it did with mobile phones in the late 90s.
The Ozo will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2016, which is perfect timing on Nokia's part. As the Google Cardboard and Gear VR bring virtual reality within reach of many consumers, and excitement builds over releases like the Oculus Rift and Playstation VR, users will no doubt be looking for content to watch on these new devices.
The Ozo's key advantage is live monitoring. Thanks to a technology called 'dynamic rendering', filmmakers can use VR goggles to check out footage captured by the Ozo in real-time, rather than hoping they captured the shots they need and stitching them together later with computers. This enables directors and cinematographers to see what they're capturing while on set, and produce higher quality films as a result.