Video experience pioneer Accedo Broadband AB announced today that it is partnering with Finnish technology company Nokia Corp. to integrate the Nokia OZO Player software development kit into its virtual reality solutions and joint projects.
The partnership would bring Nokia’s professional streaming app developer library for VR delivery and playback to consumers and publishers.
In 2016, Nokia wowed the professional VR market with the OZO: as one of the first professional-grade 360-degree virtual reality cameras it weighed in with a price tag of $60,000 at the time. Shortly after releasing the camera, Nokia followed up with a powerful VR broadcast solution called OZO Live and the OZO Player SDK, a software development kit and library that allows developers to produce their own 360-degree video and VR playback apps. That’s what Accedo will use.
Accedo provides industry expert knowledge in video platforms for service strategy, user experience and user interface design, application development and quality assurance. Among its services, the company helps accelerate time-to-market for video publishing platforms, integration libraries for smart TVs (for Android and HTML5 environments) and even a turnkey application store appliance.
“As virtual reality becomes more mainstream and creative professionals begin to push the boundaries with storytelling in VR, the quality requirements for the complete life cycle of media content are increasing rapidly,” said Fredrik Andersson, senior vice president of business development at Accedo.
Andersson cited the industry knowledge and quality of Nokia OZO’s SDK. He added that Nokia’s cutting edge technology would be integrated into virtual reality and mixed reality projects. Accedo previously partnered with HTC Corp., maker of the HTC Vive VR headset, in March to provide its expertise in virtual reality user experience and design.
This trend in Accedo’s partnerships shows the company is spreading its wings into the VR market and providing a path for its clients to reach out to publishers seeking to use 360-degree video and VR content.
The VR market, according to ABI Research, has had a slow start on the hardware side and is hampered somewhat by what is perceived to be a lack of content for existing devices. However, the market is growing and ABI expects it to reach $60 billion worldwide by 2021. Accedo and Nokia’s partnership opens up new opportunities for publishers and platforms to deliver content to the growing number of devices and the current audience for VR.
“Partnerships between key industry players with complementary services and technologies like Accedo and Nokia are tremendous steps towards bringing additional content producers and services onboard with VR/360 video,” Michael Inouye, principal analyst at ABI Research, told SiliconANGLE. “This is especially true for those customers who are already familiar with and currently leverage Accedo for their multiplatform expertise and workflows.”
Accedo’s clients include major media outlets such as Netflix, NBC Universal, Fox, HBO and Disney — all major media leaders that at least in part have shown some interest in VR content.
In conclusion, Inouye said, “Ultimately it’s further proof that investments and optimism around VR continues among the industry’s key players.”