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Nokia scraps VR camera division - over 300 employees affected

11 October 2017

Today, Nokia's conceding that demand for VR content from consumers and filmmakers has remained low. Nokia is clearly betting that it can reap the rewards of a digital health market that may be maturing more quickly but also faces serious challenges of its own.

Currently, 1,090 employees are working in the Nokia unit and potential cuts are expected to affect the rest of the staff in Finland, Britain and United States.

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The news comes on the eve of the Oculus Connect VR developers conference, which opens Wednesday in San Jose.

Despite its price, the OZO camera featured some impressive pieces of kit. Nokia's camera is created to be used by professionals but VR today is designed for the average consumers with 360° cameras from competitors selling for a fraction of the price of the OZO+. Namely, a market retreat, impacting up to 310 employees based in Finland, the U.S. and the United Kingdom, which will soon be given the pink slip.

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Meanwhile Nokia is pulling the plug on its OZO virtual reality camera and hardware, just two years after its launch. Nokia informed about its decision in a press release, saying it will "maintain commitments" to existing Ozo customers.

Nokia demonstrated OZO's capabilities in a live performance by the band Best Coast at the event in late 2015, broadcast in full 3D 360 VR from the roof of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood to downtown Los Angeles over Internet Protocol seven miles away. It seems that VR's take-off has been too slow for Nokia to make this viable, so it is now cancelling the product and cutting jobs. Instead, Nokia said, it will up its efforts "on growing brand and technology licensing", leaving its patent licensing business "untouched". Nokia has also said that it "has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations".

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Nokia scraps VR camera division - over 300 employees affected