Nokia. It's a name you probably associate with phones, whether a current Windows phone or that clunky thing that could only call and play Snake. Well, Nokia is back, and this time they're plunging into virtual reality. VR has been dominating lately, with offerings from tech giants Oculus, HTC, Sony, Microsoft, and Google. These headsets vary from several-hundred dollar gadgets to inexpensive cardboard devices. Now, Nokia is set to launch a VR endeavor as well.
There are loads of virtual reality headsets, but content isn't as abundant. Primarily, VR headsets are used for gaming, and some video. Nokia's forthcoming Ozo positions the tech company at the forefront of virtual reality video creation. Rather than opting for yet another headset, Nokia's Ozo is a camera capable of capturing video for VR projects. It's comprised of eight global shutters and mics, and can capture stereoscopic 3D video and audio. I can't help but notice the resemblence between the Ozo and the Marksman-H combat remote from "Star Wars."
What's truly significant is that the Ozo purportedly features compatibility with at least most VR headsets. While many games and demos function with some headsets, it's rare to see support for multiple devices. Additionally, while game engines like Unreal, Unity, and CryTek all have VR development capabilities, there aren't many virtual reality video cameras. The Ozo has the potential to create video for a variety of films, from movies to campus tours, but also intersect with other spaces as well. For instance, video games with real-world footage can use images captured on the Ozo. This revolutionizes potential VR applications, meaning that developers will likely be incorporating real-world footage into game and film projects. Imagine being able to shoot the entirety of "The Hobbit" not just in 3D, but in VR-capable 3D. Maybe virtual reality is the next IMAX.
Also in the VR realm, Oculus has acquired the Pebbles Interface. Oculus might not be the first virtual reality headset, but its arguably the gadget that popularized the technology. In a statement on the Pebbles website, the company explained that they've sought to explore tech that touches on human interaction and behavior, and VR embodies their pursuits. Reportedly, this move will lead to further advancements in VR's computer-human interfacing.