BEIJING: Chinese government officials will be among the first to get a look at Nokia's latest product as it moves into virtual reality and makes the country a priority market, according to a company executive. 

Boon Lai, chief marketing officer and vp/marketing at Nokia Technologies, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Ozo, the virtual reality camera Nokia has just launched, would be presented to officials in closed-door meetings.

He described it as "a re-emergence of the brand and a re-interpretation for the VR era".

"To the general consumer, the Ozo is a boost for Nokia's overall brand perception," he added. "If you think about our original 'Connecting People' tagline, which serve us well for mobile phones, we are still doing so but now in a different way."

Microsoft acquired Nokia's handset business in 2013 and the terms of that agreement prevent the Finnish tech business from making any smartphones before the end of 2016, although that is an unlikely development.

"The consumer handset business has become structurally unattractive," said Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia Corporation chairman, earlier this year.

Lai elaborated on the possible uses of Ozo: "Think of occasions where an immersive 360-degree view would be ideal, like a trackside experience during live sports broadcasts, or a school lesson educating kids about the other side of the world, or buying a complicated product like new furniture for a house."

He also suggested it could become a new advertising and sales format or a content solution.

The advantage of the Ozo – a spherical camera which captures stereoscopic 3D video through eight synchronised shutter sensors – is that everything can be done in real time, obviating the need to pre-assemble computer-generated material.

A Wired contributor said of the Ozo experience, it was "actually teleporting me across the room in real time. But that distance of just a few feet could easily be hundreds of miles".

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific, Wired; additional content by Warc staff