Lytro started out as a small company trying to bring light field photography to the consumer market. The company soon attracted considerable investments and built two consumer cameras – the Lytro Light Field Camera and the Lytro Illum – which brought breakthrough features such as software refocus and synthetic aperture from lab-sized camera arrays to the hands of the end users. Then, however, the company made a major strategic turn, abandoned the consumer market, and realigned itself to focus (pun intended) on Virtual Reality solutions.
While consumer Light Field cameras offered a number of true technological breakthroughs such as interactive 3D pictures, radical lens specs, and the ability to focus a picture after the fact we had a number of disadvantages as well including 4X larger file sizes and lower resolution in comparison to other similarly priced cameras. The cold hard fact was that we were competing in an established industry where the product requirements had been firmly cemented in the minds of consumers by much larger more established companies.
Rosenthal talks about the “hardest choice a CEO has to make”, how his pre-Lytro experience influenced his decisions, and how the company successfully reoriented itself toward Virtual Reality and the Lytro Immerge. Read the full article here: Jason Rosenthal : Why I Lit Up Lytro.