While much has been made of the hardware going into virtual reality (VR), like the head-mounted displays offered by Oculus and the like, a little less has been made of the software involved. Next generation communications titan Nokia (News - Alert), meanwhile, recently released the OZO Player software development kit (SDK), a move which was sure to bring a lot more video playback capability to VR.
Granted, there are already some VR portals already on hand. Samsung (News - Alert) VR is a major source, as are the offerings from Jaunt and Littlstar, some have been making a push toward VR video as a stand-alone app. For instance, one app—Nomads from Felix & Paul—offers a three-part VR video series, along with its own interface and supporting content that isn't video. Other apps use VR video content only intermittently.
Since there are a variety of playback options in terms of VR, several frame rates can be used, and that means a development tool that can handle many of these at once becomes particularly useful. The OZO Player SDK allows users to work with any kind of VR video content, even the kind that's filmed on Nokia's own VR camera, the OZO. That kind of utility can be valuable for any developer, who may not necessarily be using the particular video format someone else wants used.
Plus, with Nokia's system, next generation communications developers get a boost from the ability to adjust to network conditions on the ground, modifying quality based on the available bandwidth to ensure the best possible experience. That improves the chances that users will turn to the platform using this system. Nokia even set up licenses with the next generation communications developer in mind; there's a free version available right now that uses a watermark to distinguish itself, but those who want no watermark can connect to Nokia directly for case-by-case licensing complete with updates and support.
Nokia is pushing growth in VR development; a case-by-case licensing system makes this clear since it doesn't call for a one-size-fits-all scheme and opens the floor up to development from unlikely angles. Given that there are still many fronts who consider VR the future of several industries from entertainment to marketing to field service, it's easy to see why Nokia would want to be in on the ground floor and pushing this hard. A lot of VR may still be up in the air, but by providing an array of options covering a host of use cases, Nokia is making the best case it can to be in no matter what.
Value in VR development is unusual, and Nokia is first in to make a great case on this front. Only time will tell if it's a success, but Nokia has an excellent recipe waiting.
Edited by Alicia Young