Lytro’s confidentiality request for the FCC‘s pictures of the Lytro Illum expired yesterday, so the FCC have just published their detailed internal and external photographs of the light field camera and further test setup photos of the preliminary Illum version which was submitted for testing on April 23 2014. (Lytro later re-submitted the shipping Illum version for FCC approval.)
Also newly released is the preliminary user manual for the Illum (link at the end of the article) that was submitted to the FCC, which contained a few asterisks for features that were “not available on the test unit”, namely the Lytro button, AF and AEL buttons, and Continuous Shooting Mode.
Just a few years ago, mobile displays took a leap forward with increased pixel densities that ensure crisp images on realtively small screens. Today, most smartphones feature displays with up to 538 pixels per inch (ppi) – a resolution that is much higher than what the human eye can see. So what’s the next display innovation we can look forward to?
In her recent article on IEEE Spectrum, Sarah Lewin introduced two companies that are working on making what she calls “holographic” light field displays (i.e. glasses-free 3D displays) a reality.
Ostendo Technologies recently presented the results of nine years’ work at the Display Week conference: An array of 4×2 Quantum Photonic Imager chips (each consisting of LEDs, image processors and embedded rendering software) plus microlens array form a 1 megapixel (1024x768px, XGA resolution) prototype display which sends out light not into every direction – like conventional displays do – but rather into very narrow, collimated angles of light. This enables the prototype to emit different images into different directions, producing about 2,500 different perspective views, so the image and motion displayed appear consistent regardless of the viewer’s position. Continue reading
Jan Kučera has recently released a suite of software updates for his Lytro Meltdown tools, the Lytro Compatible Viewer (updated to version 22.214.171.124), the Lytro Compatible Communicator (new version: 126.96.36.199), and the Lytro Compatible Library (new version: 188.8.131.52).
Updates include a 3D mesh view from depth maps for the Viewer, improved demosaicing, and user manuals. The library has received accessors for well-known components in light field packages, dedicated classes and methods for easier access to sub-aperture and individual microlens images.
In a recent interview with Lytro founder Ren Ng, German technology news website Heise Online discussed the Lytro Illum‘s special lens design, interchangeable lenses, light field photography as the “new multidimensional Raw”, and Ng’s estimate of when light field photography will replace conventional cameras.
The article is in German, but if you don’t speak the language you can still check out the Google Translate version here:
Interview with Lytro founder Ren Ng: “The multidimensional Raw”
In order to record colour images, camera sensors typically use a colour filter array consisting of red, green, and blue filters on top of the light-intensity sensing sub-pixels. After recording each sub-pixel’s light intensity, the so-called “demosaic” process combines four monochrome sub-pixels (2x red, 2x green, 1x blue) into a single pixel containing RGB colour information.
In microlens-based light field cameras, this “demosaic” job may result in a blur effect around the boundaries of objects in the final image.
Image Sensors World found a patent application by Samsung which can solve this blur-problem: In the patent application entitled “Photographing device and photographing method for taking picture by using a plurality of microlenses”, authors Tae-Hee Lee et al. propose moving the colour filter in front of the microlenses (instead of having them behind the microlenses), creating single-colour sub-images. Continue reading