Nokia drops out of VR market, halting next-gen OZO camera development
Nokia has done a lot of soul-searching, strategy-shifting, business-restructuring and especially brand-licensing in recent years, following a still-controversial 2014 mobile phone division dumping, ultimately reaching the conclusion that a focus on patents and telecommunications equipment is best for its financial stability.
No more in-house handset or tablet development for the Finnish company that once dominated the mobile hardware industry, no apparent plans to tackle new product categories like smartwatches anytime soon, and starting today, no further VR ambitions either.
That crazy expensive 360-degree OZO camera aimed at professional content creators is left without a sequel, and the ”slower-than-expected development of the VR market” on the whole makes Nokia Technologies ”reduce investments” in this field, directing its increased attention instead to various ”technology licensing opportunities.”
”Development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware” is halted effective immediately, which isn’t exactly shocking given the monstrous introductory price tag of a gadget vainly billed as ”the world’s best 360 virtual reality camera.”
Even discounted from $45,000 to $15K, the immersive video-recording rig failed to resonate with a large enough audience, prompting Nokia’s VR investment ”optimization.” Oh, come on, let’s just call this what it is. Namely, a market retreat, impacting up to 310 employees based in Finland, the US and the UK, which will soon be given the pink slip.
In addition to the ”successful” patent licensing business, which is to be left untouched, Nokia plans to continue growing its ”brand and technology licensing” departments, also ”sharpening” its digital health focus, boosted by last year’s Withings acquisition.