The virtual reality market has been slower to take off than Nokia expected, so some changes are being made. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to kill off its expensive OZO professional VR camera and cut hundreds of jobs in the process.
"The slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities," the company said in a statement. "The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customers."
The layoffs will affect up to 310 of the roughly 1,090 Nokia Technologies employees, mainly in Finland, the US, and the UK, the company said.
Targeted at professional VR content creators, the OZO camera, which debuted in December 2015 for $60,000, captures stereoscopic 3D video and spacial audio through eight synchronized shutter sensors and integrated microphones. The Walt Disney Studios in April 2016 agreed to use the camera to create new VR "experiences" to complement its theatrical releases.
In August 2016, Nokia slashed the price of the OZO by $15,000 in a move the company said it hoped would "drive penetration globally."
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"We are making an aggressive move to advance the virtual reality business and to enable more professional creators to make VR content," Guido Voltolina, head of Nokia presence capture, wrote in a blog post at the time.
Now, Nokia Technologies is pivoting from VR to digital health.
"The shift deepens Nokia's commitment to fully leverage its digital health portfolio acquired through the purchase of Withings in 2016," Nokia said. "Through a more focused, more agile digital health business, Nokia aims to have a larger impact with consumers and the medical community."
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