Nokia has officially announced the discontinuation of its £40,000 Ozo VR camera that was supposed to revolutionise the way VR content was produced. The company has also confirmed that 310 jobs will be lost as a result of the discontinuation.
The loss of Nokia’s OZO VR camera comes as the company diverts its attention towards digital health. It’s a natural course of action for Nokia to take, as the former smartphone maker spent $191 million on digital health manufacturer Withings just last year.
While Nokia currently only represents a small proportion of the digital health, the company already offers a line-up of wearables, smart scales, a blood pressure monitor, a hairbrush, and a thermometer. The company is hoping to grow its share of a market Deloitte estimates will be worth £43bn by 2018, however.
“Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity,” says Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies.
“While necessary, the changes will also affect our employees, and as a responsible company we are committed to providing the needed support to those affected.”
Nokia’s realignment is much about the growth of digital health as it is about VR’s disappointing returns. The company is hoping to remain in the VR market, but admits that the industry has developed at a much slower pace than it first predicted. That’s why there will be a reduction in investment and an increased focus on technology licensing opportunities in that space, rather than a complete withdrawal.
Customers who have already acquired a Nokia OZO VR camera can still expect to be supported by Nokia. Just don’t go expecting a new model anytime soon.
Employees affected by Nokia’s decision are based in Finland, the US and the UK. The 310 that will sadly lose their positions represent around 28% of Nokia Technologies’ workforce, which currently stands at 1,090. Nokia has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations.