The Story Behind the Lytro Camera

lytroWhen I first heard of the Lytro camera, I flipped out. I wanted one so bad because, well, it’s so different. I remember thinking, “Wow, now there is something that is truly outside of the box.” I was so impressed by the capabilities that I had to know more. Thankfully, Kira Wampler who heads up Marketing at Lytro as a VP was able to fill me in on how this incredible camera came into being.

This is how the idea for the Lytro camera was born: when using his DSLR to take photos of a friend’s five-year-old daughter, Lytro founder Ren Ng quickly became aware of the weak points of today’s digital cameras – a shutter that’s too slow to capture a moment and a lens that focuses on the wrong point in a scene. Annoyed with his camera, Ren did what many innovators do – took what he was learning in an academic environment and began to apply it to a consumer market. He focused his research at Stanford University on miniaturizing light field photography technology into something that would no longer require 100 computers in a room tethered to a supercomputer but rather a camera that could fit in a pocket and easily allows everyday consumers to benefit from light field technology.

For the Lytro camera’s design, form follows function. The unique, compact ...

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