Former smartphone maker Nokia has launched what it calls the first commercially available virtual reality camera for making movies to be watched on virtual reality headsets.
The spherical device, dubbed OZO, captures 360 degree stereoscopic 3D video through its eight synchronised sensors and integrated microphones. It comes equipped with software enabling real-time 3D viewing without the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image - a major advantage over other currently available equipment.
"OZO aims to advance the next wave of innovation in VR by putting powerful tools in the hands of professionals who will create amazing experiences for people around the world,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. “We expect that virtual reality experiences will soon radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events and each other.”
The content captured by OZO, first unveiled at an industry event in Los Angeles this week, can be viewed on all commercially available immersive virtual reality headsets.
Nokia said it was in the process of final testing and refining of the device in cooperation with industry professionals.
The device, to be manufactured in Finland, should be available in the market by the end of 2015.
In May, GoPro introduced a similar system using 16 cameras and Google's software, while several other technology companies such as Facebook and Samsung have announced different plans to enter the virtual reality market.
Nokia, the former global number one smartphone maker, is currently going through major restructuring after it sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft last year.
Last week, the European Commission approved a proposed € 15.6bn acquisition by Nokia of French telecommunications firm Alcatel Lucent, expected to boost its main network equipment business.
Nokia is also planning to come back to the phone business by designing and licensing handsets once its deal with Microsoft allows it to do that late next year.