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Nokia Axes Ozo VR Camera Citing Slow Industry Development

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In a sign that the virtual reality (VR) industry is experiencing growing pains, Nokia announced today that it's stopping development of its Ozo VR camera and hardware. The company will maintain commitments to existing customers, it says.

The move will lead to a loss of up to 310 jobs from the Nokia Technologies unit, which currently employs roughly 1,090 people, with most of the eliminated positions in Finland, the U.S. and the U.K.

Nokia introduced the Ozo two years ago. The original $60,000 price tag was later reduced to $45,000. 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 tried to put a positive spin on the news by announcing it will put more resources into growing its digital health business. The company purchased Withings in 2016.

"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," says Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies. "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."

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