Nokia pulls back on VR and axes 310 jobs


Nokia launched its OZO camera past year to help developers create 3D movies and games for virtual reality headsets.

The arm of the business which is responsible for the development of the camera, called Nokia Technologies, will, therefore, lay off up to 310 people as part of the shift, it said, but assured Nokia Networks will remain unaffected. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to kill off its expensive OZO professional VR camera and cut hundreds of jobs in the process.

Further details are awaited. Nokia says it needs to focus less on VR products and more on "technology licensing opportunities", in other words, patent licensing deals, alongside an "increased focus on digital health and brand and technology licensing".

The change in the company's plan is expected to affect Nokia Technologies employees mainly in Finland, United States and United Kingdom.

The OZO camera, a 360-degree stereoscopic camera, was released in November 2015.

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In August 2016, Nokia slashed the price of the OZO by $15,000 in a move the company said it hoped would "drive penetration globally". Nokia will also continue its work in developing 5G networking infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

There's good news for existing OZO users, however, as Nokia promises that existing commitments will not be impacted.

The reason for the shutdown according to Nokia has to do with the slow growth in the VR market or rather, the direction of growth. To start the process, Nokia today has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations.

Nokia is ditching development on virtual reality and cutting more than a quarter of its workforce.

The news comes less than a month after Nokia said it planned to cut nearly 600 jobs in France.