So Nokia’s ball of secrets is out! Ozo is their new professional VR camera rig featuring 360 degree stereoscopic 3D video shot through 8 global shutter sensors. It also features 360 degree audio capture similarly made possible by 8 integrated microphones.
Separate from the hardware, their software selling point is on-the-fly image stitching for instant previews, though this isn’t going to deliver the optimal quality that is also possible when the imagery is fully processed once content is finalized.
Jaunt has gone on record that they are going to be Nokia’s first Ozo customer. The Ozo is a professional rig and will be priced accordingly. Availability is anticipated for the last quarter of 2015.
Stereoscopic 3D in 360 has been traditionally more difficult compared to 360 in 2D. There are only a handful of companies that offer it, and when they do – it’s so-so because the distance isn’t high enough between the two camera perspectives, or the curvature of how cameras are placed on the rig messes things up.
Immersive media has 3D rigs as well, but this is an example of an Immersive Media 360 rig for 2D. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. However, while it features 11 cameras instead of the Ozo’s even 8, it looks very similar minus the audio features.
The big difference looks to be the even camera placement in the Ozo array. Notice that the cameras are an equal distance apart, and there isn’t a solitary camera at the top so stereoscopic 3D can be captured from multiple vantage points. This in itself may not be all that unique compared to other 3D 360 solutions.
We can’t help but wonder if the big innovation is in the software and being able to extrapolate stereoscopic 3D perspectives from a uniform 360 degree source. In other words, the hardware captures the full visual spectrum (similar to other solutions), and the software determines which two points are going to be the camera’s left and right view with some additional adjustments to compensate for curvature. The magic may in fact just be the software.
We’ll see what we can dig up.