Nokia to abandon VR camera development, slash 310 jobs

Nokia to abandon VR camera development, slash 310 jobs

Nokia Company has announced on Tuesday, that the company plans to fire up to 310 employees form its Nokia Technology Unit and also stops the development of its virtual reality camera "OZO" and hardware. This means Nokia will discontinue its hitherto unsuccessful VR unit.

Nokia will now shift focus to its digital health portfolio by way of Withings which it acquired in 2016.

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

Nokia believes that the VR market is witnessing less than expected growth, and hence, has made a decision to shut down its efforts for developing the Ozo VR camera.

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However, a prohibitively high price (the OZO VR camera initially retailed for $60,000) put many buyers off, and Nokia ended up lowering the price of the camera by 25 percent to $45,000 later that year. Finland, the United States, and the United Kingdom will bear the brunt of most of the redundancies.

Investment in this area will be reduced and future versions of its Ozo camera, unveiled in 2015, will be halted, the company said.

Nokia is ditching development on virtual reality and cutting more than a quarter of its workforce. To start the process, Nokia today has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations. Nokia said that it would also focus on licensing its existing VR technologies to interested companies.

"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.

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