Accedo delivers DT’s VR apps, is Nokia powering them?

Swedish app store specialist Accedo says its software is behind the new virtual reality experience for one of the largest operators in Europe, Deutsche Telekom, which launched late last week.

Accedo never shouted about its expertise in writing VR apps prior to the announcement that it had jumped into bed with Nokia in April this year, in which it has integrated the OZO Player SDK into its existing products. That said, we suspect that Nokia’s technologies are part and parcel of this project, although we are awaiting confirmation from Accedo if this is the case.

The Magenta Musik 360 service offers free live VR streaming and a VoD catalog of music concerts in four different perspectives, including coverage of German rock festival Rock am Ring and a recent Gorillaz gig in Cologne. Magenta Musik 360 is currently only available on Samsung Gear VR, Android and iOS devices, and browsers, but plans to bulk up on more device compatibility in the future, as well as adding more live music content.

We tested out the 360-degree browser experience by watching a VoD stream of UK rock outfit Gorillaz, and found the video quality was quite frankly appalling. Our office connection is probably not suitable for this type of streaming, however, and watching on the app will likely offer a much smoother ride.

Accedo says AppGrid, its cloud-based video experience management platform, enabled “easy configuration” of VR experiences across devices. Accedo added that Magenta Musik 360 provides round organic features, using depth and width to show possible navigations and interactions with the user – claiming that it trumps rival VR experiences because it allows users to completely navigate inside the VR environment via an “intuitive multi-level information structure”.

Accedo doesn’t really offer anything in the cloud or back end as we know it, but instead provides cross-platform development kits for launching apps on multiple devices – without requiring huge amounts of programming and allowing relatively simple UI updates.

Deutsche Telekom is using the FreeFlow product from Akamai for content delivery on its Magenta Musik 360 site, allowing its website to cache files on the Akamai’s army of global servers, closer to end users. This clearly didn’t do the Rethink office much good.

Nokia is pinning a core part of its future business strategy on VR as part of its major restructuring plans. It launched its OZO Reality at NAB this year, an updated set of technologies for supporting the delivery, creation and end user experience of VR content. As well as Accedo, further vendors on board Nokia’s OZO Player and OZO Reality platform integration venture are Akamai, AWS Elemental, Harmonic, NeuLion, Youku, 3stage Design, Haivision, Ideal Systems, Kaltura, LiveLike, Nibiru, Primestream, Ratio, Qello, and China Intercontinental Communication Center (CICC).

Accedo also recently teamed up with the HTC Vive VR headset to develop entertainment content with the aim of driving education and innovation in virtual reality. The two companies will be delivering joint seminars and are also working with the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) to create sports experiences in VR.

Accedo CEO Michael Lantz said, “Live concerts are unique in the way they can connect audiences with music artists. With the transformation of the music industry from physical discs to downloads and then streaming, live music has been the pillar of continued growth for a challenged industry. Magenta Musik 360 is providing consumers with an experience closer to the real, live experience when they are unable to be on site themselves. We are proud to be working with this ground breaking new service and are still only glimpsing the full potential for Virtual Reality.”