Choice Versus Simplicity
Speculation about virtual reality and its effects on human interaction, modern life, the consumption of media and advertising have been forecast for at least 3 decades.
With Nokia’s upcoming Los Angeles event on November 30, 2015, revealing cost, official launch date and technical details of the OZO virtual reality camera, VR is closer than ever to becoming a part of our daily reality.
Predictions and debate swirl regarding possibilities of an interactive world created within the confines of one’s mind, headset and device. What implications does a VR world hold? Will it enhance our lives? Will technology enabling us to temporarily live out desires leave us longing for a time when this was never possible?
What is OZO?
OZO is an upcoming virtual reality camera from Finlandâ€™s Nokia Technologies aimed at and designed for the professional filmmaker. It captures stereoscopic, 3D video with 8 cameras and 8 microphones. Compatibility for post-production viewing will be available with headsets such as the Oculus Rift. The OZO allows for immediate, stitchless, 360-degree playback for instant monitor viewing in VR. In addition to these revolutionary features, the OZO has a distinct, futuristic look, resembling a planetary soccer ball.
Samsung, GoPro, Apple and other companies are delving into the VR space, but none have made official announcements for a VR camera as with OZO’s arrival.
People Are Talking
I think 5-7 years from now Virtual Reality will have a real place in our society. Bigger than people think right now. In the way that you didn’t think older people would take selfies 3 years ago, that’s what I think about VR, meaning…a lot of you don’t think it’s going to happen. I just do. Gary Vee told his Vayner Nation viewers on Episode #38 of his #AskGaryVee web show.
From their 2003 book ‘Understanding Virtual Reality,’ Authors William R. Sherman and Alan B. Craig note Watching an Orson Welles’ film is not enhanced by making the viewer turn their head to follow the action of the film. On the other hand, if the original content is modified for the new medium by adding interactivity, the filmmaker’s role of setting the tone and pacing via camera angles, editing, and other techniques is diminished.
Whether real life will sour in comparison to a personally crafted VR world or as Dogbert’s Scott Adams says (Dilbert’s anthropomorphic talking pet dog from the Dilbert comic strip) When virtual reality gets cheaper than dating, society is doomed, an artist’s or movie goer’s reality can only be enhanced by cinematic VR technology. From the artist or filmmaker perspective, VR and a 360-degree view is a new canvas in which to portray even richer emotion. From a movie theater patron’s perspective, VR movies are opportunities to feel another life or escape one’s own via a 3-D, stereoscopic portrayal that is revolutionary and seemingly harmless.
Nokia Technologies President Ramzi Haidamus says via a recent video on the upcoming OZO camera’s design, Nokia OZO takes what is a truly cumbersome process all the way from pre-production to production and post production and dramatically reduces the time it takes to creates virtual reality content. Our goal is to work very closely with producers and directors and make sure that we take on all the feedback and put it in to OZO to make sure that we give them nothing but the best in this category. What we have done with OZO is stay true to the Nokia spirit that brings beautiful, simple, easy to use products that are truly outperforming in that category.
Resistance, Old Thoughts, Future Paths
“I couldn’t quite grasp it.” recounts Sid Ganis, Film Producer and Past President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about the OZO I couldn’t believe it. I mean I’ve been looking at movies forever in my life and all of the sudden here was something astounding.
New technologies and ideas have always delighted, terrified and caused doubt throughout time. Cinema’s Founding Myth about the Lumiere Brothers 3-D, 50-second silent steam locomotive film is one such example. Despite being filmmaking pioneers, the brothers doubted the lasting history of cinema and were rumored to have declined to sell their camera to industry peers.
The progression to VR makes perfect sense in a world where film and television now define culture. Life imitates art. Once Virtual Reality movies become food for a steady cinephile diet, what new genres will emerge in this space?
“It’s a camera that defines a new art. A new form of cinematic experience. That’s the OZO.” Ted Schilowitz, Futurist 20th Century Fox, Founder of Red Digital Cinema, comments in a recent Nokia video entitled ‘The Future of Filmmaking.’
“OZO was designed to be almost transparent. Its form factor, its simplicity, its elegance, makes it almost invisible and lets the actors and the creatives do their job, without being encumbered by the technology.” Ramzi Haidamus, President, Nokia Technologies added.
Routine invites a dulling of the senses. Although many people are scared of what is different and new, embracing fearful change takes people to new places, fresh ways of seeing the world that creates variety in life. Imagine Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Spinal Tap or Forrest Gump as a virtual reality movie going experience. Wearing a headset to the grocery store conjures up laughter and social isolation. Watching a film that provides a sense of purpose and allows entry to a world foreign to your daily grind gives meaning. If your daily routine never varies, your movie experience can be endless, either as a professional creator or viewer.
Let us remember a quote from Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer and philosopher, heralded for his novel Zorba the Greek. “Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.” Hello OZO, it’s nice to meet you.
For more information on Nokia’s OZO, please visit Nokia’s official announcement here.