Nokia veteran returns as head of Ozo VR


As the months roll by, we’ve see Microsoft try again and again to give its Windows operating system a presence in the mobile space. As hard as the company fights, however, the competition of veteran operating systems Android and iOS have made it nearly impossible for the Redmond based company to make a lasting impression in the space. As such, Microsoft has begun gutting the teams which make Windows phone a reality.

The software giant is currently in the process of laying off 2,850 employees, essentially ridding the business of the people it gained from its acquisition of Nokia’s Lumia phone business. And while many employees are being laid off from the Nokia phone division, one employee has decided to move to Nokia’s core company. This employee is Juha Alakarhu, who was one of Microsoft’s top camera experts. Now that his time with Windows Phone has come to an end, Alakarhu is looking to utilize his talents in the space to work on something a bit newer; Nokia’s virtual reality department.

Before the acquisition by Microsoft, Alakarhu was one of the lead minds behind Nokia Pureview technology, which helped set Nokia devices apart from the pack by shoving a huge amount of megapixels into a camera sensor. The company ran campaigns sporting this feature in particular, as it allowed users to take an image from far away and still maintain an incredibly high amount of detail. Alakarhu is looking to take what he learned from the development of that tech and apply it to Nokia’s VR ventures as the head of their Ozo VR camera division.

A few other camera experts from the company have been laid off as well, and are transitioning to other large tech firms to further develop their skills. Lumia photography lead Ari Partinen left the company to join Apple just a few months before the acquisition by Microsoft, and others such as Tero Vuori and Eero Salmelin, are currently residing at Intel and Microsoft respectively.

With Alakarhu back at his original company, we can hope to see some awesome developments coming to their VR ventures. They’ve got quite a few smart people over there, so it’s likely we should see an update to their Ozo camera in the not-too distant future.

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