Mar 16

Exclusive: Lytro Patents Hybrid Camera for Conventional and Light Field Photography

Fig. 4 from the patent application depicts an architecture for a light field camera suitable for mobile applications, wherein the MLA can be optically disabled to enable higher resolution 2D image capture. (modified after Bhat et al., 2014) The US Patent and Trademark Office has just released a patent application by Lytro titled “Light field image capture device having 2D image capture mode”. The application was filed September 8 2014 by nine (then-) Lytro employees, and describes a dual-mode light field camera that can switch between two modes, allowing either light field imaging or traditional high-resolution 2D imaging:

Abstract: A dual-mode light field camera or plenoptic camera is enabled to perform both 3D light field imaging and conventional high-resolution 2D imaging, depending on the selected mode. In particular, an active system is provided that enables the microlenses to be optically or effectively turned on or turned off, allowing the camera to selectively operate as a 2D imaging camera or a 3D light field camera.

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Nov 05

Light-field powered Virtual Reality: Magic Leap secures 542 Million Dollars in Funding from Google and others

Light-field powered Virtual Reality: Magic Leap secures 542 Million Dollars in Funding from Google and others (image: Magic Leap) A rather secretive startup from Hollywood, Florida, recently made headlines for raising a spectacular investment for their vision of the next generation of Virtual Reality. Big names like Google, Qualcomm Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and others have put together the sum of 540 million US-Dollars for a company called Magic Leap, but the public isn’t even sure what the company is working on.

The official press release reads: “Magic Leap is going beyond the current perception of mobile computing, augmented reality, and virtual reality. We are transcending all three, and will revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play.”
…and Magic Leap’s website doesn’t provide many details either.

The company is reportedly working on Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signals” (Digital Lightfield, in short), a “biomimetic” technology that “respects how we function naturally as humans”. What that means precisely, the company doesn’t explain. However, Technology Review has dug up some interesting patent applications by Magic Leap which may give us a glimpse into what convinced their investors: Continue reading

Oct 04

Ebook: Using Lytro Illum – A Guide to Creating Great Living Pictures

Ebook: Using Lytro Illum - A Guide to Creating Great Living Pictures (picture: Josh Anon) So your Lytro Illum has finally arrived – now what? In many respects, light field photography is fundamentally different from traditional photography, and the switch from one to the other may not be an easy one for everybody.
Josh Anon, nature photographer and former Senior Product Manager at Lytro, recently published a new ebook titled “Using Lytro Illum – a Guide to Creating Great Living Pictures“.

Using LYTRO ILLUM provides a comprehensive overview of the Lytro ecosystem. Endorsed by Lytro, Inc., this book covers everything from what the light field is to how to take advantage of the Lytro button while shooting to how to edit your pictures outside of Lytro Desktop. It’s the one guide that will take you from novice to living picture expert!

We had a closer look at whether the book delivers what the title promises, and in this article, we’ll tell you what we think.

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Aug 27

Viewpoint Laboratories presents OverDome Light Diffusing “Cloud Dome” for Lytro Illum

Viewpoint Laboratories presents OverDome Light Diffusing "Cloud Dome" for Lytro Illum (picture: Viewpoint Laboratories) Viewpoint Laboratories has recently introduced what we believe to be the first third-party accessory for the Lytro Illum: the new “OverDome Light Diffusing Photography Enclosure” (i.e. cloud dome) for the Illum light field camera allows users to record well-lit, largely shadow-free closeup pictures by scattering light through a translucent, white acrylic hemisphere.

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Aug 20

Infographic: 175 Years of Camera Evolution

Infographic: Modern Photography - the first 175 years (picture: Lytro) 175 years ago, British inventor William Henry Fox Talbot recorded the first ever photograph on paper. To celebrate the subsequent evolution of cameras and photography, Lytro treats us to an infographic overviewing the major development steps of almost two centuries.

The infographic includes paper photography and digital photography, and ends with the most recent advances in digital imaging, e.g. the Gigapixel camera and their own Illum light field camera: Continue reading