We may have a photography game-changer on our hands here, folks.
You know all those pictures you take that are accidentally focused on the wrong thing? In the past, those photos were useless. Lytro wants to change all of that.
Essentially, Lytro is developing a new type of point-and-shoot camera that simultaneously focuses on everything, so you can manually choose which part (or depth) of the photo to focus upon afterward.
Got to the Lytro.com gallery page to try it out. All you have to do is click on different areas of each image. It's really cool.
"Rather than just capturing one plane of light, it captures the entire light field around a picture, all in one shot taken on a single device," explains Sarah Lacy of TechCrunch.com. "A light field includes every beam of light in every direction at every point in time. Experimentation in this field started in the mid-1990s at Stanford with 100 cameras in one room. Lytro’s innovation is making it small enough to fit in your pocket. Really."
In order to get mainstream adoption of this type of camera, Lytro needs to ensure the hardware they produce looks good, feels good, and the price is right. It's got to come in as a competitor to traditional point-and-shoot cameras -- priced competitively, and with a familiar form factor.
Assuming the stars will align, this technology is going to shape the future of photography. Existing companies are going to have to adapt, or risk becoming irrelevant.
As for adopting Lytro's technology for mobile devices, miniaturization is going to be an important piece of the puzzle. Getting this technology into mobile devices is going to have to be the next thing on their agenda.