End of high-definition Virtual Reality (VR) cameras means loss of 310 jobs.
Nokia has announced it is to stop developing its Ozo range of high definition Virtual Reality (VR) cameras, with the loss of 310 jobs.
The Ozo and its follow-up the Ozo+ had seemed to hit the ground running when it was launched just two years ago and gained widespread critical praise from the likes of Disney and others to capture the ‘highest quality’ 360-degree footage possible. It was aimed fully at the professional market, and retailed at $60,000. The spherical hand-held device features eight cameras and eight microphones capable of capturing both 360-degree video and spatial sound.
However, in spite of a recent $15,000 price cut, Nokia said that the VR market was developing slower than it had expected, and that sales of the camera hadn’t met expectations. As a result, Nokia also said that 310 jobs would be lost across Finland, the US, and the UK, around 35% of its total workforce.
“The slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities.”
Nokia said they would instead now expand their current focus into their digital healthcare division, Nokia Health, which already sells medical scales, smartwatches and blood pressure monitors: “The shift deepens Nokia’s commitment to fully leverage its digital health portfolio acquired through the purchase of Withings in 2016. Through a more focused, more agile digital health business, Nokia aims to have larger impact with consumers and the medical community.”
In a statement Nokia said it would maintain its ‘commitments’ to its existing Ozo customers. “Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity,” said president of Nokia Technologies, Gregory Lee.