Nokia’s Revival with Alcatel-Lucent Takeover, OZO VR Camera

On November 30, Nokia introduced its OZO virtual reality camera in Los Angeles. The camera, aimed at professional content creators, features eight 2K-by-2K-resolution cameras, with lenses capable of a 195-degree field of view and spaced at the same distance as between human eyes, as well as eight microphones for 3D audio capture. Weighing 10 pounds and expected to cost $50,000, the OZO is capable of full 360-degree stereoscopic video in real time and its output is compatible with existing VR headsets

As Wired reports, OZO is a “category changer” for the Finnish company that also is in the midst of finishing a takeover of Alcatel-Lucent: “Nokia considers virtual reality the best business to exploit its deep expertise in optics, sensors and audio, and wants to use it to revolutionize media and entertainment.”

Nokia_OZO_VR_2015

The camera offers the ability to stream 1.5Gbps of compressed RAW footage and a low-res feed for monitoring as well as Wi-Fi to control the system remotely. OZO’s software automatically stitches together the eight feeds into a single sphere, avoiding costly and time-consuming post production.

Nokia is nearing completion of a $16.6 billion takeover of Alcatel-Lucent, in its shift towards manufacturing the telecom gear used by the mobile networks of big global carriers, reports The New York Times.

Although shareholders on both sides of the deal are expected to approve the deal, that’s where the easy part ends. The company faces tough competition from lower-cost Chinese rivals and a downturn in the marketplace. But Nokia chief executive Rajeev Suri says the takeover will grow the company’s relevance with its customers and achieve the size it needs to become a strategic partner.

Not everyone is convinced. Past mergers and acquisitions, says Gartner telecom analyst Sylvain Fabre, are “littered with hubris.”

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent do have complementary expertise (the former in wireless networks and the latter in routers and gear for broadband networks) but, says Bengt Nordström, co-founder of telecom consulting firm Northstream in Stockholm, “the real challenge is where are they going to find growth.”

“For Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent,” he says, “it’s a matter of survival.”

Related:
Nokia OZO is a $60,000 360-Degree Camera for VR Pros, SlashGear, 11/30/15