Lytro: The Plenoptic Camera’s Feature Set Continues To Grow


Lytro's light ray-based plenoptic camera technology, which enables post-capture selective focus on any particular depth region of an image, has received periodic mention on this site. Back in October of last year, for example, I covered the cameras' initial unveiling. And more recently, BDTI engineers Eric Gregori and Shehrzad Qureshi discussed the underlying technology in detail, in their technology trends presentation. Reviews have been mixed, and the camera didn't start shipping until the end of February. But the company has steadily added features to its first-generation product, while being simultaneously non-commital about rumored licensing deals and video-capture enhancements.

In mid-June, for example, the company unveiled the fruits of its partnership with Twitter; focal point adjustment from within the embedded-image Twitter stream, versus requiring a redirect to Lycro's photo-sharing site. More recently, in mid-October (and, I'd argue, more meaningful to embedded vision technologists), the company added manual control of shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, neutral density filter enable/disable, and auto-exposure lock. Shortly thereafter, company officials revealed that another firmware update due by year-end would add parallax-based 3-D photo support, including video output cognizance of 3-D displays. And nearer term, a few days ago Lytro rolled out updated desktop software that encompasses support for perspective shift capabilities, along with nine "Living Filters".

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