In an abrupt about-face, Nokia said Tuesday it will halt work on future versions of its Ozo virtual reality camera and cut up to 30 percent of the staff in its Nokia Technologies unit.
Why it matters: The VR market has been slower than expected to take off, resulting in several casualties. Intel said last month it was cancelling its Project Alloy reference design for VR headsets.
The ultimate failure of virtual reality to gain mass adoption should have been seen when Facebook bought Oculus.
Oculus should have been left the hell alone to fend for itself.
Everyone thought Facebook acquiring Oculus was like Google acquiring YouTube.
Nope. There was already demand for YouTube.
The demand for VR was really limited to Kickstarter backers of Oculus. Not the general public.
Now VR will have to find its way into the popular culture from the bottom up, instead of being forced on it from the top down.
I’ve never been able to see Nokia’s Ozo in action. It could be the most impressive VR video out there. But at the whopping price they wanted, it was doomed to be a niche item catering to those who thought VR would be pushed from the top, not rise from the bottom.
Now it’s up to people at the bottom — indie developers and filmmakers — to create things and stories that create a mass desire for VR. Until that happens, VR will remain moribund.
And by the way, it’s been quite some time since anyone heard about Amazon and VR, eh? That says a lot too. (Given Amazon’s failure in TV and movies, maybe they’re just similarly unqualified.)