We’ve seen an Android-powered 16MP camera from Polaroid, and 3D cameras from HTC and LG. But imagine a camera that can capture the entire light field at once. What good is that? Well, it would allow you to take a picture without worrying about what’s in focus since you could actually focus the picture afterwards. This is exactly what the Lytro camera can do.
Currently, the Lytro is a stand-alone unit that requires a Mac to process the images it shoots, but a Windows version is expected soon. Eventually, this type of technology will hit mobile devices and make blurry phone pics a thing of the past.
The folks over at TechCrunch had a chance to speak with Ren Ng, the founder and CEO of Lytro, and the guy who’s research the product is based on. In their discussions, they learned that though the Lytro “light ray” technology could be used for capturing video, the processing requirements for that much data is not currently feasible for a consumer product. So, for the time being, Lytro will be focusing on still image photography for its debut, with video possibly coming in the future.
The chipset the Lytro uses is rated as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable, but it doesn’t seem the debut version will have any wireless capabilities. Ren Ng did say they are working on wireless integration, so we can expect an update in the future that adds that functionality.
Right now, Lytro is concentrating on getting the product out. It’s currently back-ordered but is expected to ship early this year. But they have mentioned that they are open to licensing the technology or partnering with other services or companies. This gives us hope that we can see a Lytro-enabled Android smartphone in our future.