Nokia OZO media technologies pivoting from VR to new applications

The pioneering Nokia OZO VR camera and software solution for creating, delivering and experiencing VR content became the de facto choice for professional 360 video productions in 2016-17. We were delighted to see OZO technology being used by Disney, Sony Pictures, Coachella, UEFA and many others in marquee productions and events worldwide. While we had great momentum and partnerships, the VR market developed slower than we originally expected. In October 2017 Nokia Technologies decided to focus on patent, brand and technology licensing and on opportunities in the digital health market.

With a new focus on technology licensing, our great team with leading capabilities in media technologies will now help our customers enable superb new consumer experiences.

We envision intelligent audio, imaging and video technologies completely transforming how people capture and share experiences. This includes 360 video and other immersive formats, but also using AI and machine learning to automatically create richer experiences in familiar formats without having to put hours into editing our images or videos. We want to be present and stay in the moment also when capturing precious memories. We want the sound in our videos to be just right, as if you were there – and even better, focusing on the relevant audio sources while suppressing unwanted noise.

All of this will be enabled by powerful technology. We started by licensing our unique OZO Audio spatial audio capture technology to smartphone and camera makers, with the beautiful Nokia 8 smartphone leading the charge. For professional audio productions, Spatial Audio Designer by New Audio Technology now supports creation and export of audio mixes in the superbly accurate and flexible OZO Audio format.

OZO Audio is the first technology offering we are now bringing to market, but it’s just the beginning. Stay tuned for more to come.

While the near term VR market opportunity was not large enough for us to pursue, we wanted to also make sure our VR innovations would continue to help the industry make progress and enable immersive experiences.

So we decided to open up our VR technologies:

  • First, we have reached an agreement with Imeve, a new company founded by former Nokia engineers and product leaders in California, to license the industry leading OZO Live software and continue its development into new offerings that will benefit VR content creators and broadcasters worldwide. I’m really excited for the team at Imeve and wish them great success as they continue to break new ground in VR content creation and delivery.
  • Second, we have opened up the OZO Deliver specification to allow industry partners to support best-in-class VR experiences with viewport adaptive streaming. Wowza has already made this solution available to their customers, and we expect others to follow suit.
  • Third, based on Nokia’s substantial research in VR technologies we have recently made significant contributions to standardization, such as MPEG OMAF specification and work on point cloud compression, and plan to continue this in 2018.

In summary, Nokia Technologies continues to enable exciting new experiences as we adapt to changing market conditions. Our strong audio, imaging and video capabilities are now focused on helping our customers win in the marketplace, and we expect to make significant contributions to the standardization of core technologies that power our future devices and services.