Today Nokia is beginning to lay out its vision. At an event for the entertainment industry in Los Angeles tonight, Nokia is announcing Ozo, a next-generation camera for capturing audio and video in 360 degrees.
Welcome Nokia Ozo. Nokia Technologies plans to return to the consumer market, focusing on virtual reality rather than the cell phones that made it famous. At the moment all Nokia is giving away is a launch webpage with a countdown timer, some glimpses of the product and an announcement that it’s a VR camera. Unveiled at an entertainment industry event in Los Angeles, the orb-shaped camera is designed for professional content creators rather than consumers.
How it Looks
Ozo is a sleek looking black globe that is going to be packing eight synchronised global shutter sensors and eight integrated microphones for virtual reality video recording. Looked at from the front, it reminds us of the floating bot from Star Wars.
It’s basically a spherical rig the size of a large cantaloupe, roughly 6 pounds, with eight optical image sensors spaced roughly an eye width apart. Audio is captured in three dimensions by eight microphones embedded in the camera, and the result is audio that helps to locate you in space.
How it works
The camera will work as most other VR cameras work. This means a selection of high definition video camera lenses angling out from a central point. They should be wide-angle enough to capture the entire 360-degree view around that centre point.
This is where smart software comes in. This needs to stitch together the videos to create one feed. This can then be viewed from a VR headset, like Oculus Rift, allowing the users to look about as the video plays around them.
What it offers
The Nokia Ozo camera will be aimed at the very high end. As mentioned previously it comes equipped with eight microphones for high quality 3D sounds as well as those eight camera sensors for stereoscopic visuals. So, don’t expect to lay your hands on one anytime soon unless you’ve got plenty of spare cash lying around.
A key feature is the ability for real-time 3D viewing, eliminating the resource-consuming process of creating a panoramic image prior to playback. The target audience for the content, created on the Nokia OZO, are head-mounted displays or any other form of VR viewing hardware available on the market.
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