Nokia has officially announced that it will no longer develop the OZO, the company's all-in-one solution for 360° video capture. The camera platform has been the most popular in the space due to its streamlined nature, both being powered from and capturing to a single unit.
This workflow was refined in comparison to competitive systems that involved rigging and syncing multiple GoPros or custom building from parts, and it took off with filmmakers who wanted explore VR without the headaches. The OZO is particularly popular in the VR space, where events like movie premiere red carpets are streamed to ever-growing audiences in 360°.
The OZO itself wasn't perfect, with its biggest drawback being the single record/power module. At launch, not many were available, meaning having enough of a supply to keep shooting without waiting on battery recharge was often a hassle. Combined with the slow footage download time, it made for a less than ideal experience. Despite that, OZO was the most refined 360° capture experience available. With an original launch price of $60,000, reduced to $45,000 earlier this year, the current OZO is available from Nokia for only $25,000.
One possible reason for pulling out of the market is the launch of the Insta360, which we covered at NAB this year, a 360° 8K capture device that started shipping this summer for a fraction of the price of the OZO at only $3500. It's very hard to compete against a competitor that undercuts your price by 85%. This isn't the end of 360° capture by any means, but it is a sign that the marketplace isn't necessarily a gold rush quite yet, and that big players might not necessarily find rewards at the high end.