Nokia Killing OZO VR Camera, Laying Off 310 Employees

Nokia is giving up on VR – 300 jobs at risk

Nokia to Lay Off 310 Jobs, Halt VR Program

Nokia launched the professional product in 2015, but VR hasn't taken off in the way Nokia hoped it would. Nokia is clearly betting that it can reap the rewards of a digital health market that may be maturing more quickly but also faces serious challenges of its own.

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

Nokia Technologies saw sales surge 58 percent in the first half of the year, but it only accounts for €616 million out of total revenues of €11 billion. In July 2017, Facebook announced the Ozo was one of the cameras approved for its Live 360 Ready Program, a set of cameras and software suites guaranteed to work with its 360° live video streams.

Nokia has pledged to support existing customers but development has been halted.

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Nokia has suggested that a VR market that was developing slower than expected as a reason why it was shuttering OZO production.

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. The move will see 310 of Nokia Technologies' 1,090 employees made redundant at Nokia offices in the US, UK and Finland. Altogether the company plans to shrink its workforce by some 310, with redundancies in the USA and United Kingdom as well. That's a not-inconsiderable chunk of Nokia Technologies's staff, either, which now numbers around 1,090.

That means not just licensing what it learned in VR, but also a pivot toward the digital health business bolstered by its purchase of Withings.

The Technologies division is set to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, resulting in slashing up to 310 jobs, which account for almost 30 percent of the workforce in the division.

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