The New York Times turned us onto a startup by the name of Lyto, whom will launch a digital camera later this year that allows you to adjust a photograph’s focus after the shot has been taken. The technology allows a photo taken with a Lyto camera to be adjusted when viewed on a computer screen: bringing either your background or foreground into sharp focus. The camera will provide a number of technological advancements & feature sets:
- A special sensor called a microlens array allows the camera to capture far more light data than a conventional camera (at the heart of the camera and Lyto’s technology)
- Comparable resolution and camera body size to that of any standard point-and-shoot camera (think Nikon, Canon)
- Innovative software to alter points of focus
- Lack of ‘shutter lag’ contributes to a faster image capture than conventional cameras (no waiting for autofocus to work before taking the shot)
- Data capture for 3-D imagery
As a Silicon Valley (Mountainview, CA) startup, Lyto offers significant potential. Thus far, they have amassed $50 million in investment capital (including investment from Andreessen Horowitz). The founder and CEO – Ren Ng – is a 31-year old Stanford PhD graduate, whose thesis won the global competition for the best doctoral dissertation in computer science from the Association for Computing Machinery. The subject of that thesis (and accompanying research) ultimately became the now marketable consumer concept of this camera.
The camera’s price tag at launch has not yet been announced, but it is expected to retail via Amazon and Lyto’s website. Lyto will manufacture and market its own camera, rather than licensing the technology to other brands – desiring control over its design and ‘package’. We can’t wait to get a glimpse of how the design – married to the technology – combine to develop a differentiated brand identity and experience in a highly competitive and crowded consumer digital camera market.
Also of particular excitement is that Lyto is already working on a Facbook app, seeing the opportunity for their software to impact photos of family and friends on the social network. We also wonder – with the prevalence of mobile photography – will a mobile photo app also be immediately in the works?
[via New York Times]