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Nokia shuts down VR camera development amid job cuts

Tim Maytom

Finnish tech firm Nokia has announced plans to slash jobs in its Nokia Technologies unit, cutting around one third of all roles and halting the development of its virtual reality camera 'Ozo'.

Nokia will cut up to 310 jobs from the 1,090-strong unit, with staff in Finland, the United States and the UK expected to be affected. Nokia's total staff headcount is around 102,000 as of the end of June 2017.

"The slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities," said a Nokia spokesperson in a statement.

The Nokia Technologies unit will continue to focus on its digital health plans, as well as its patent and brand licensing business, but will dramatically scale back its hardware ambitions.

The Ozo camera was launched last year with the hope of kickstarting a digital media business. It was designed to easily create 3D movies and immersive virtual environments, but struggled to find an audience. Towards the end of last year, Nokia cut the price by 25 per cent to $45,000 (£34,000).

Nokia was one of the powerhouse firms during the initial rise of mobile phones, but its main business is now telecoms network equipment, having sold off its phone manufacturing unit and mapping technology unit.

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