Nokia has formally released its new OZO professional VR camera, priced at $60,000. The device was designed and built for use by professional content creators. A preview of the device was released last July and the company has been drumming up excitement for the new camera ever since.
The new VR camera was unveiled during an official launch event in California on Monday. The launch event included a live performance by the band Best Coast that was recorded with the new camera and broadcast in full 3D 360 VR from the roof of the Capital Records tower. The company says that the new VR camera is just one device in its planned portfolio of digital media solutions. However, Nokia declined to disclose what those other devices may be.
The new VR camera includes features like real-time preview, wireless operation, and full 3D 360 audio and video broadcasting. The OZO software can be used for real-time 3D viewing and can create content for VR-viewing hardware like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive VR, Samsung Gear VR, Sony PlayStation VR, and Microsoft HoloLens.
The high-end virtual reality camera from Nokia is designed to capture video and audio to create live-action VR content. The new camera captures stereoscopic 3D video and spacial audio through eight synchronized shutter sensors and integrated microphones.
The introduction of the new camera has the potential to vastly change the way people direct and stage VR. The computing power needed to compile shot imagery has traditionally meant that VR creators needed to wait until long after shooting was finished to see what was actually captured by the camera. With the new technology, filmmakers can don VR goggles and look around the 360-degree field of view in real time.
The company has also launched a “Look around you” creative contest for content creators interested in the new camera. Two lucky content creators that submit ideas to the contest will be allowed to use the OZO camera to bring their winning concepts to life. The winner of that face off will get to keep their camera and earn $42,000 in winnings. The winners of the contest will be announced after December 14.
Nokia has been trying to reinvent itself after undergoing numerous upheavals over the past few years.
The new VR camera may make Nokia a leader in the VR industry, much like how it became a leader in phones decades ago. The VR market needs this type of integrated solution for the industry to move forward. The new cameras will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2016.