Lytro CEO Ren Ng recently gave a presentation at TEDxSanJoseCA 2012. He talked about the history of photography (all the way back to 1839 and Louis Daguerre), the first steps in LightField Photography (“a room full of cameras”), and the development and functioning of the Lytro LightField camera. After he showed off some of his favourite LightField pictures out there, and finally demoed future software features such as perspective shift/parallax, all in focus (set to be released “this year”) and continuous focus.
Before starting Lytro in 2006, Ren had been extensively studying light field science and computational science. His seminal Ph.D. research on light field technology earned the field’s top honor, the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for best thesis in computer science and engineering, as well as Stanford University’s Arthur Samuel Award for Best Ph.D. Dissertation. The entrepreneurial spark came when Ren purchased his first DSLR camera and saw the potential to apply light field technology to capture pictures in addition to image generation. He decided to apply and extend his theoretical work by making light field cameras available to consumers.
Interesting infos revealed in this talk:
- The Lytro LightField Camera is the result of about 80 people working for several years to turn a lab experiment into a real consumer product.
- The 8x optical zoom has an equivalent focal length range of 35 – 300 mm.