Will Lytro change imaging as we've known it for more than 150 years?
It looks like the technology behind the Lytro camera could turn most of us into at least reasonably decent photographers and revolutionize the camera industry. Reviews of Lytro's boxy-looking camera are, for the most part, matching the hype.
What Lytro does differently is basically to capture a lot more raw data which can then be processed afterwards. This allows the user to change to field of focus of any image after the fact and also provide the viewer with a more immersive experience.
Please check out some Lytro PICS from their own website.
As is often the case, what appears to be a wildly new technology has often been around, at least in the labs, for quite some time. Research into enabling cameras to capture the entire light field has been on-going for more than 20 yearss, but now, with Lytro, there is an actual product on the market. Lytro is a $400/8GB ($500/16GB) camera that can be ordered now.
Rumor has it that Apple is very interested in bringing the first Lytro-enabled smartphone to market. If Lytro does actively license out their technology to smartphone vendors, which would be an obvious business model given the incredible volumes in the smartphone biz (hundreds of millions of units per year), we have to wonder which smartphone vendor will be first? In a market of look-alike and act-alike, rectangular black screens, which smartphone vendor will see the Lytro and add a touch of WOW to their products?
Recommendations to smartphone vendors: Investigate the feasibility of incorporating Lytro's light field technology into your smartphones. This may require form factor adjustments. Look into the potential of cross-licensing agreements with Lytro and evaluate sub-branding the imaging feature and potential of cloud-based connections. Look into the Lytro.