What Makes Nokia's OZO Virtual Reality Camera Worth $60,000

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-12-11
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What Makes Nokia's OZO Virtual Reality Camera Worth $60,000
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    What Makes Nokia's OZO Virtual Reality Camera Worth $60,000

    Nokia's OZO camera can be used to create virtual reality images and can record full 360-degree video as well as full surround sound.
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    The Design Looks Like Something Out of Star Wars
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    The Design Looks Like Something Out of Star Wars

    The design of the OZO VR camera is one of its most interesting features. The unit is shaped as an orb with an evenly spaced camera lens all around. On the back, there is a post where users can input storage drives. The design is simple, sleek, and most importantly, will effectively create a 360-degree environment for virtual reality content.
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    The Camera Records 360-Degree Video
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    The Camera Records 360-Degree Video

    The main selling point of the OZO is that it can provide a full, 360-degree video-recording experience. Thanks to its eight sensors and a lens view angle of 195 degrees, the OZO is capable of capturing video and stills in 360 degrees. With the OZO, visual media professionals won't need to manually stitch together video. Instead, they can simply place it in the middle of the room and leave it there.
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    Look for Full Surround Sound
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    Look for Full Surround Sound

    Another important feature in recording video is sound. By using the same orblike design and placing it in the middle of the room, users will be able to capture full surround sound with the OZO. In the finished video product, in other words, virtual reality viewers will be able to hear sounds all around them and, thanks to its 360-degree views, see where the sound is coming from. It will allow content producers to create a wide range of special effects.
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    The OZO Is Fully Wireless
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    The OZO Is Fully Wireless

    Nokia has designed the OZO to be fully wireless, which means it can be placed anywhere, at anytime and start recording. One of the more intriguing ways to use OZO would be to connect it to a drone and see how it captures 360-degree video and sound from the air. It would limit the camera's versatility if it was in anyway tethered. By making it wireless, the possibilities are endless.
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    It Will Be a Valuable Tool for Broadcasters
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    It Will Be a Valuable Tool for Broadcasters

    While OZO may be a fine choice for those who want to record video for post production, the device also comes with live broadcast support. So, if there's a sports event or other major public event going on, OZO could be used by broadcasters to stream the live feed in full virtual reality.
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    Users Can Remotely Monitor OZO in Real Time
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    Users Can Remotely Monitor OZO in Real Time

    Video production professionals need to know what a camera is capturing at all times. So Nokia built real-time monitoring into the OZO. While the wireless device is capturing footage, directors will be able to remotely run the OZO's software to see what it's recording in real time.
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    Digital Cartridges Can Record for 45 Minutes at a Time
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    Digital Cartridges Can Record for 45 Minutes at a Time

    The OZO comes with a rear slot for digital storage cartridges that can record video and images for up to 45 minutes before needing to be replaced. For brief events, that may not be an issue, but for those who want to record a long football game or concert for example, it will be necessary to keep extra digital cartridges handy.
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    OZO Has Everything It Needs to Record and Connect
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    OZO Has Everything It Needs to Record and Connect

    For those who want an inside look at OZO, the device comes with eight 2K-by-2K sensors. The device features ISO 400, and its dynamic range is 10 stops. The audio sensor is omnidirectional and completely spherical. All video recordings are saved in MOV format and have Wavelet-based raw video compression. The OZO records video at 30 frames per second, it runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and it can connect to WiFi networks. It weighs approximately 9 pounds with the battery.
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    Nokia Is Marketing OZO as a Tool for Professionals
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    Nokia Is Marketing OZO as a Tool for Professionals

    While OZO would undoubtedly be an attractive option for just about anyone hoping to record virtual reality, Nokia has made it clear that it's designed for professionals first. In fact, the company has said that it can see it being used for broadcasts, live events and similar spectacles. That's not to say OZO can't be used in a consumer-focused manner, but the price puts it out of range for the average consumer.
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    It Carries a Professional-Scale Price Tag
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    It Carries a Professional-Scale Price Tag

    One of the biggest reasons professionals may be first to buy the OZO is its price. The device itself costs $60,000 and will be available in the first quarter of 2016. Nokia requires a $5,000 deposit in order to get one. The accessories also are expensive. The digital cartridge for storing video costs $5,000, while a docking station for the orb will go for $1,500. Still, for the price users are getting a professional grade VR camera.
 

There's a new camera in the technology industry that is of particular interest to those working in the field of virtual reality. It's Nokia's OZO camera designed to create professional-quality virtual reality images for a variety of applications. When it announced the OZO in July, Nokia touted this camera as an advanced VR filmmaking platform. Furthermore, Nokia, which is rebuilding its technology portfolio since exiting the smartphone market, says the OZO will be just the first in a range of digital media production it will introduce in the coming months. The timing on Nokia's announcement also is important. The virtual reality market is expected to boom in 2016 after the launch of a wide range of VR headsets, including Facebook’s highly anticipated Oculus Rift, as well as devices from Sony and other industry heavyweights. The OZO is designed to help companies create content for those headsets, and Nokia claims its camera has the features to do it better than any other model available now. This slide show takes a closer look at the OZO and why it could prove to be a valuable VR production tool for application developers and producers in this field despite its shocking $60,000 price tag.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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