Nokia (News - Alert) announced recently that it would partner with Brandwidth to develop promotional virtual reality (VR) content using Nokia’s OZO camera. The two seek to elevate promotional videos from less compelling run-of-the-mill productions to the level of viewing experiences that engage audiences.
Brandwidth is a U.K.-based marketing and advertising company that specializes in VR, but also produces other media. A recent advertising campaign demonstrates the company’s emphasis on providing engaging content.
Mazda UK sought Brandwidth to promote its CX-3, an SUV designed for drivers who enjoy adventurous outdoor activities like kayaking or diving. The campaign consisted of breathtaking photographs featuring the vehicle in different locations throughout the U.K. These pictures were used in region-specific promotions set up in such a way that readers were looking at photographs from their local area.
The technique of showing how the CX-3 could be an important part of their lifestyle was an effective campaign. According to Brandwidth, it resulted in 2.4 million impressions and an engagement rate of 9 percent, twice the rate of top social media sites.
Nokia and Brandwidth hope to take that same success to the VR world with the OZO, a maraca-shaped device crafted out of aluminum, with several cameras and microphones embedded in its body. A lot of engineering went into the design of the OZO as demonstrated by its passive cooling system. This reduces heat without using fans that would create noise and vibration and compromise the device’s ability to capture video and audio.
The OZO has several limitations that will prevent it from achieving widespread use. Although its cooling system is well engineered, it has a maximum operating temperature of about 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has frame rate, lighting, and resolution limitations. The device sells for about $60,000, making it only feasible as a rental.
In spite of these limitations, the OZO is a good start for Nokia, which seeks to reinvent itself after exiting the cell phone business. The virtual reality market is expected to grow at double-digit rates to $30 billion by 2022, and by developing a VR capture device, albeit a limited one, Nokia positions itself among the industry leaders. Its relationship with Brandwidth helps take VR to a whole new level. It shows. Along with a recent deal with Disney, that the technology is more than just experimental and has interesting commercial applications and use cases.
Edited by Peter Bernstein