Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Nokia shrinks workforce, drops virtual reality business

Nokia shrinks workforce, drops virtual reality business

The company says that the VR market has grown more slowly than expected, and as a result, investments will be cut, and the development of the OZO VR camera and hardware will stop.

The company said that the job cuts will affect employees mainly in Finland, the United States and Britain.

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

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Nokia's OZO multi-camera virtual reality device also sported a hefty price tag that likely only attracted deep-pocketed developers investing in the technology.

An estimated 310 out of 1,090 people could be laid off, mostly in Finland, the US and Great Britain, Nokia announced in a press release.

Nokia has called time on its OZO virtual reality camera, announcing that it will cease development of the expensive multi-lens system as it doubles-down on health tech.

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Since, the VR market failed to grow at a pace that Nokia expected it to, along with rivals making cheaper alternatives, Nokia's decision appears sensible.

When Nokia Technologies introduced the OZO stereoscopic camera in July 2015, it seemed inevitable that the camera would play a big role in shaping the landscape of professional immersive video content.

Nokia says it will instead focus on health products and licensing of patents. Since then Nokia have been a relatively constant presence, appearing at events and working with multiple partners through the OZO VR camera. To start the process, Nokia today has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations. That's a not-inconsiderable chunk of Nokia Technologies's staff, either, which now numbers around 1,090.

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