ibusinesslines.com February 21, 2018

Nokia To Shut Down Ozo VR Unit, Layoff 300 Employees

10 October 2017, 01:07 | Justin Tyler

Nokia to Lay Off 310 Jobs, Halt VR Program

Nokia is giving up on VR – 300 jobs at risk

Now the unit in question employees 1,090 people, with the job cuts likely to affect staff in Finland, the U.S. and Britain.

Since the split, Nokia Technologies has dabbled in a variety of areas, including handset design (but not manufacturing), patent licensing and digital health. The figure represents around a third of the Nokia Technologies workforce.

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

Nokia plans to reduce up to 310 jobs from its Nokia Technologies unit and halt development of its virtual reality camera "OZO" and hardware, the Finnish company said on Tuesday.

The Ozo offered 360-degree video and audio capture and was used in BT Sport's VR broadcast of the 2017 UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff. The camera, coming in at a steep $45,000, was launched in 2015 as the first product after the sale of the firm's handset business to Microsoft.

However, there's little balm for the employees soon to be axed. The closure of this business also means handing out pink slips to employees who are working for this unit across the US, Finland and the UK.

With the new strategy, Nokia will develop the digital health portfolio it acquired with the purchase of Withings in 2016, and focus on growing brand and technology licensing while leaving its successful patent licensing business untouched.

"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", said Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies, in a statement.

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