Lytro, the company that designed the light-field camera has open sourced the design to new major partners, include NASA and the Department of Defense, it announced this past week.
Instead of using traditional megapixels, the Lytro uses a mega-ray sensor.
Lytro has long been the innovator of light-field cameras, which allow the user to snap photos and go back and re-focus the image later. This is because light-field cameras capture light (like traditional cameras), but they also capture the direction and intensity of the light. The photographer can then manipulate the photo’s focus, even after the image has been taken. It is also possible to shift perspective and the depth of field. Instead of using traditional megapixels, the Lytro uses a mega-ray sensor. First released in 2011, it was a major hit in the scientific and photographic community. Despite being designed for the everyday user, it still hasn’t made it’s way to mainstream just yet.
It creates a space for 3D video and images, and also has a future in the world of gaming.
The second Lytro camera, the Illum, was marketed for photographers and other creative directors. With the price of $1,599, the camera was light years ahead of it’s competitors. It creates a space for 3D video and images, and also has a future in the world of gaming.
This week, Lytro announced the the Lytro Development Kit (LDK), which is targeted for big corporations and projects. Costing $20,000 for an annual subscription, the kit includes a sensor, lens, Lytro’s software and imaging algorithms, a Python API, and the platform for companies that are intending to customize the light-field camera. The annual subscription guarantees updates so as to remove outdated equipment. Lytro’s first customers include the NASA, who will customize the camera to explore deep space, and to attach to planetary rovers. The Department of Defense intends to improve night vision for soldiers. A medical startup, General Sensing, plans to use it to investigate how to improve baby monitoring. It is also likely that the LDK will be used for nuclear power plants, and other areas. Light-field cameras will soon be making an appearance everywhere.
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