Nokia has been carefully plotting its return after selling off its mobile business to Microsoft. While it's unable to make and sell any phones until that deal's terms are settled, a surprising new focus has emerged for the Finnish company.
According to Recode, Nokia plans to get into the virtual reality space - and we'll reportedly find out about its plans next week at an event in Los Angeles. Recode briefly mentioned it back in April as something Nokia was prototyping, but there were no further details at the time.
The report specifies that it will be hardware of some sort, but doesn't get into any further detail about what to expect. The VR space is heating up dramatically, with the Oculus Rift (seen above) about to release its consumer version in Q1, plus Sony's Project Morpheus, Samsung's Gear VR phone headsets, and numerous other smaller efforts that hope to make a big splash.
Since the Microsoft sale, Nokia's first move back into hardware was the impressive Android-based N1 tablet, which looked a lot like an iPad Mini but only ended up being sold in China. Otherwise, the company plans to design smartphones again when the Microsoft deal's restrictions are lifted, although Nokia will rely on partners to license the brand and manufacturer the devices externally.
Recode says that Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri mentioned "immersive imaging" as a focus, which gives a vague clue as to its virtual reality intentions, but the space is becoming too crowded for a half-effort to have much of a chance. Will Nokia bet big on VR as part of its future? We can't wait to find out next week, if the report proves correct.