In 2016 virtual reality (VR) is tech's big fish. So it's apt that the pro-spec Nokia Ozo 360-degree VR camera looks like a futuristic flying fish. One priced to the tune €55,000. (Update: since publishing, Nokia has contacted us regarding UK price, which "will be based on the exchange rates between Euro and pounds ... that equates to around £43,000". However, there is no official UK price at this stage.)
Professional VR video capture doesn't come cheap, then - but with the product carrying a $60,000 price tag when it launched in the USA that should perhaps come as no real surprise. Besides, this isn't available-for-all consumer tech; this is the 360-degree capture equivalent of a Red Epic camera - as used in traditional cinema.
The Ozo, which comprises eight lenses, each with 195-degree angle of view and 100-degree cross-over with the next nearest in a pair, is capable of capturing full 360-degree spatial video and audio content. It can output to a dedicated recorder or, for work in the field or, say, when strapped to a drone, the included battery and 500GB hard drive will cater for 45-minutes of capture.
It's not just about capture for post-production though. Wanting to show-off its live-streaming potential, Nokia had band John Bull and the Bandits take to a stage at The Park Plaza Westminister Bridge Hotel and live broadcast it for attendees at the UK launch event at Indigo at the O2 in London. Of course a VR headset was required to watched and listen - we tested it out with a Samsung Gear VR.
If €55,000 sounds like too much then there's one time-limited introductory offer that may tempt you in: the Pioneer programme allows a €15,000 discount, for one Ozo per company. The deal is that you'll need to input structured feedback to Nokia and provide 1-minute of example footage to feed not only the company's understanding of the capture process - and how to improve - but also engage the community. The Pioneer programme is open until 30 April 2016.
Additional partnerships with Deluxe and The Foundry will open up opportunities for production companies to access post-production solutions, whether looking to author video content, apps, live broadcasts or beyond.
It's expensive, but Nokia Ozo is exactly what's needed to open the VR floodgates - and we expect to be seeing a lot more content in the near future.