Sony Pictures, Nokia Partner to Create, Distribute VR Content

Sony Pictures and Nokia have partnered to produce and distribute VR content. In addition to using Nokia’s OZO VR camera to produce videos, Sony will use the OZO’s Live VR broadcast feature to live stream 360-degree video of Sony Pictures events for fans. Sony will also add Nokia’s SDK to its Privilege Plus app, which is only available on Sony mobile phones. Nokia debuted the OZO a little over a year ago for about $60,000; the cost goes up with additional gear required to produce VR films.

Variety quotes Sony Pictures Home Entertainment digital sales exec Pete Wood as saying that, “partnerships with cutting edge technology companies like Nokia are critical as we develop the market for VR experiences and build scale in our production and distribution efforts.”

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Nokia has plenty of competition in the VR camera space. Jaunt, backed by Disney, has its VR capture solution, and light field camera company Lytro is showing imagery based on its volumetric VR camera. Google also has Jump, its cloud-based 3D VR system.

Engadget says that Nokia will also provide “expertise” to Sony Pictures in creating VR content, adding that the camera’s “live VR broadcasting” and “rapid stitching from the eight cameras” are OZO’s best features.

“Other cameras out there can take higher-quality images,” notes Engadget, but “with other systems, it can take ages to patch together multiple videos, meaning producers often have no idea what they shot until much later.” With a powerful enough computer, the OZO will also enable live 4K VR output. The OZO-created signal can travel via “standard UHD equipment, which end-users can decode with an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Gear VR headset.”

Sony Pictures vice president Scot Barbour notes that these features mean the OZO fits with Sony’s “established production processes and workflows.” Engadget also points out that Sony’s Privilege Plus app is “the streaming video player for Xperia Lounge, which is Sony’s answer to Google Play.”