Nokia Shuts Down OZO VR Division, Cuts Workforce By 35%


Nokia is halting further development of OZO VR cameras, but the company said it intends to maintain its commitments to existing customers.

The unit was one of three that Nokia retained following the sale of its handset business to Microsoft in 2013. Going forward, Nokia will be focussing on licensing out its patents and digital healthcare, rather than virtual reality or smartphones.

The move will lead to a loss of up to 310 jobs from the Nokia Technologies unit, which now employs roughly 1,090 people, with most of the eliminated positions in Finland, the USA and the United Kingdom.

The news comes on the eve of the Oculus Connect VR developers conference, which opens Wednesday in San Jose. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to kill off its expensive OZO professional VR camera and cut hundreds of jobs in the process. Powered by the research and innovation of Nokia Bell Labs, we serve communications service providers, governments, large enterprises and consumers, with the industry's most complete, end-to-end portfolio of products, services and licensing.

Investment in this area will be reduced and future versions of its Ozo camera, unveiled in 2015, will be halted, the company said. "To start the process, Nokia invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations", said Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies.

Nokia has now revealed that it will stop working on the Ozo VR camera and this will affect around 310 staff of Nokia Technologies. Currently, the unit has about 1,090 employees and the layoffs literally translate to 30 percent cut down to the workforce. Nokia announced the orb-shaped OZO camera, with 360-degree video capture, a little over two years ago.