Lytro plans to bring its unique light-field technology to video and virtual reality, giving the technology a more relevant push into the changing landscape of video capture and photography tech.
According to Recode, Lytro is raising money and cutting jobs in order to facilitate the transition. Lytro raised $50 million in venture funding lead by GSV Capital, Danhua Capital, and Allen & Company but is also cutting 20 to 50 jobs from its current employee count of 130. “We are going to have to make some cuts in some areas so we can staff up in some new ones,” Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal tells Recode.
Rosenthal told Recode that he believes Lytro’s light-field technology is the “perfect solution” to capturing video for virtual reality. The thing with Lytro’s latest announcement is that it actually makes some sense. The light-field technology currently used by their cameras allows the photographer to capture more detail within images and focus on subject matter after shooting. Besides shifting focus, the cameras can also allow slight adjustments in perspective in post-processing of video images. When looking through the lens of virtual reality, this could open up the possibility to advance how virtual reality cinema is captured and could allow a viewer to move through more freely through immersive virtual environment.
Although it is exciting to see Lytro move into the virtual reality space, there will be many challenges ahead for them as they continue to fix sharpness issues that have plagued past models and strive to convince consumers that Lytro can provide a reliable photographic hardware solution.