After releasing two light field cameras for end users, Lytro seems to try branching out into other fields to enable broader application of their plenoptic technology: Back in November, Lytro announced the Lytro Development Kit, basically a way for interested companies to license the technology and explore light field applications on their own.
Now the company reportedly raised 50 million $ to shift toward Virtual Reality and video. Lytro’s “refocus” to these new areas entails a lay-off of 25 to 50 current positions – a sizeable chunk of their workforce of just 130 – so that new specialists from the fields of video and VR can be hired. Continue reading
At first glance, the music video below consists only of slow panning and focus-shifting across otherwise static scenes, where the camera movement matches the calm soundscape of Big Noble‘s new song “Ocean Picture”.
However, there’s something special about this video: It was recorded solely with a Lytro Illum light field camera, and thus consists of many individual images brought to life by two of the most popular light field features: post-capture refocus and single-exposure 3D.
Light field technology produces a completely new, and fundamentally richer, set of data. With all of the advantages of this technology, the obvious downside is that there isn’t yet much software out there to process this data.
Now, the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance has presented a light-field plug-in for the popular video post processing application Avid Media Composer.
According to their press release, the software plugin is able to create high-resolution depth maps, change focus, move perspective or add 3D effects and camera movement. The output can then be used to generate footage for 2D, 3D or multi-view displays — and all of that by using existing video software. A licensing model is available for professional users interested in working with light-field video.
Full press release after the break:
These days, “big tech companies” nowadays have a typical product cycle of about 12 months, meaning that a new generation of their latest products will usually be presented every year. In contrast to that, it’s been 1.5 years since (relative) startup Lytro presented their first generation Lytro light field camera, and we’ve been waiting to hear about hardware news.
In a recent interview, new Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal promised “multiple breakthrough products” set for 2014:
“We’re working on what we think will be our Model S,” Rosenthal said, referring to the latest Tesla model that earned a nearly perfect score from Consumer Reports. “We have a packed product roadmap for next year, we’ll introduce multiple what I think are just breakthrough products. I’m super excited and the world will be as well.” Continue reading
Pelican Imaging is working hard on releasing “a smart camera for your Smartphone”. Their first generation 4×4 camera array is reportedly 50 % thinner than current smartphone camera modules. It captures the Light Field not by use of a microlens array, but using – in this case – 16 individual fixed focus cameras.
But hardware is only one part of the technology. It’s strengh lies in the power of post-processing and sophisticated computation.
In a new demo released today, Pelican Imaging demonstrates 3D video recording at 1080p and 30 fps, as well as two application examples: distance measurement within the picture, and 3D printing of recorded scenes. Continue reading