It might look like an alien probe, but Nokia’s new $60,000 camera promises to elevate virtual reality from tech demo to prime time with eight 2K x 2K sensors and omnidirectional mics used to capture 360-degree video and sound.
"We're at the dawn of an exciting new medium that will transform the way people connect to stories, events, and the world around them," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, in a press release.
Haidamus told Fast Company that the Ozo's onboard processing allows the device to shoot and broadcast live VR footage, as well as stitch images in real time from its multiple lenses. This makes the Ozo a good fit for live sports and news.
The launch event took place December 1 in Hollywood, where the Ozo captured a live concert put on by the band Best Coast before streaming the footage to downtown Los Angeles.
The Ozo is not just about video. It's directional sound recording will allow filmmakers to draw your attention behind you in a thriller, for example.
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Additional specs include an f/2.4 relative aperture, max framerate of 30 fps, removable 500GB SSD with 45-minute recording duration and remote operation over Wi-Fi. That means when combined with the Ozo Remote App (OSX 10.10 only), you can film immersive panoramas on a drone, then seamlessly transition to recording more traditional situations, such as a sporting event or play using the HDMI monitor output.
Companies such as Jaunt are already using their own 360-degree cameras to bring the real world to VR systems like the Occulus Rift, and in the NBA, the season opener for the Golden State Warriors was broadcast in VR. The Ozo looks to make filming these types of events easier and more affordable with a relatively less expensive and out-of-the-box ready system, as opposed to the custom rigs many companies are currently using.
So if you’re a filmmaker looking to ride the cutting edge, you can reserve your own Ozo with a $5,000 deposit before it starts shipping in Q1 2016.