Google to Acquire Light-field Camera Startup Lytro
A report published in the Tech Crunch reports that tech giant Google is in talks to buy Lytro, an imaging startup that specializes in light-field technology. The deal, that’s to be made as an asset sale, would be around $40 million or so.
Google Acquires Light-field Camera Startup Lytro
Lytro was founded back in 2006 and developed the first consumer camera to utilize the light-field technology. The technology helps cameras to refocus photos to any part of the image after they’re taken. Lytro’s camera executes this by capturing all the rays of light from a scene as well as information about where they came from.
Lytro’s light-field video solutions are applied to cinema and VR. The company stopped manufacturing and distribution of Lytro cameras for photography due to poor consumer response and latter on pulled hosting support for pictures.lytro.com. To recall, pictures.lytro.com was a platform where photos taken with Lytro cameras could be shared for users to play with refocusing and 3D depth features.
The acquisition will help Google intensify its own VR efforts. Recently, the tech conglomerate stepped up with light-field photography by modding one of the 16-camera circular “Jump” rigs that Google developed a few years ago with GoPro cameras. The camera then were repositioned in a vertical arc and mounted on a platform that spins 360 degrees. The scenes shot were then made available on an immersive image viewer app it released called “Light Fields.”