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Nokia Pulls Out of ‘Slow-Developing’ Virtual Reality Business

October 10, 2017, 7:53 AM UTC

The virtual reality market may have a lot of buzz around it at the moment, but not enough for Nokia, maker of the groundbreaking Ozo VR video camera.

Nokia said Tuesday that its Technologies division would from now focus on the digital health business that stemmed from its purchase of Withings last year.

That means moving the focus away from Ozo, a ball of lenses that allows professional movie-makers to shoot in all directions at once. According to Nokia, this is because of “the slower-than expected development of the VR market.”

Nokia is scrapping the work it’s been doing on future versions of the Ozo system, though it says it will maintain commitments to existing customers. It will also try to license out the technology it has already developed.

The realignment will cost Nokia Technologies up to 310 staff members, or 28 percent of the division’s total headcount. The jobs will go in Finland, the U.S. and the U.K..

“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,” said Nokia Technologies president Gregory Lee in the statement. “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.”

The Ozo is not the only 360-degree camera system out there—there are rivals from companies such as GoPro and even Facebook. However, reviews suggested the Ozo was the most studio-film-capable of the bunch, as reflected in its $45,000 price tag.

The question now is whether the VR market is slow to develop on the consumer level, as well as in the world of professional movie production.