Guido Voltolina, Nokia’s Head of Virtual Reality Capture, says he is optimistic about the increasing quality of both VR cameras and available VR experiences in film. Rapid growth is occurring in nearly all forms of both virtual and augmented reality technology. Costs are falling quickly as well, but a more important aspect of Voltolina’s outlook is the cost-versus-quality of the incoming tech. Looking at that sector of the VR market near the close of CES 2017, it is clear that Voltolina was not only excited about Nokia’s role in the VR market. The television and film industries have taken an interest in creating VR experiences, in addition to new entries intended to give consumers access to VR capturing technology.
Citing new ventures into VR-based entertainment from both 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures, Voltolina said that prior use of VR in the industry was mostly a marketing gimmick. He believes that the technology has come or will soon be coming along enough now to place VR as an integral part of the experience for entertainment. His assessment is understandable since previous attempts to increase realism in the movies have been mostly tied in with either 3D – or a combination of 3D and rumbling, tilting theater seats. However, viewing technology for VR is becoming increasingly mobile and improving rapidly in both quality and efficiency. The size of investment needed by filmmakers and studios should decline in proportion. As more users of those technologies absorb more of the cost to view content at home – and as demand continues to grow – public venues such as theaters will likely see reductions in costs of the technologies needed to cater to VR experiences.
Nokia is responsible for a professional-level VR camera called OZO. OZO has 8 camera sensors that shoot with synchronicity at 2k resolution. It also records audio from each direction. At $45,000, the camera is squarely aimed at the professional camera market. However, one trend noted by Voltolina is that there are several competitors in the space looking to provide the quality of more professional cameras with cost effectiveness. Consumer-ready VR cameras from CES are expected to arrive at much lower price-points more in-line with costs of current consumer-grade digital cameras.