Nokia Goes Hollywood With Space Age OZO 360-Degree 3D Camera

Virtual reality has captured the hearts and minds of consumers and developers alike with systems like Oculus Rift and Samsung's Gear VR, but what if you want to capture your own VR content? Nokia has you covered. The company announced a funky looking camera with an equally funky name -- OZO. While it looks like one of the orbs that shot energy bolts at a blindfolded Luke Skywalker during his Jedi training, it's actually a purpose-built camera designed for professional content creators.

OZO came out of the minds of Nokia's R&D facilities in Tampere, Finland. It's a work in progress, though it's close to being finished -- Nokia says it will conduct final testing and refinements to OZO in partnership with industry professionals in preparation for a release by the end of the year.

OZO Cloud

As it stands, the orb-shaped camera captures stereoscopic 3D video by way of eight synchronized global shutter sensors. It also has eight integrated microphones to record spatial audio. Integrated software allows content creators to view their 3D content in real-time with a playback solution that negates the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image, Nokia says.

Content captured with OZO can be published commercially for existing (and presumably upcoming) VR headsets with full 360-degree imaging and spatially accurate sound. OZO also plays nice with third-party editing tools.

Nokia is keeping mum on OZO's cost, though as far as availability goes, the company is aiming to begin shipments in the fourth quarter of this year.