Rumour has it that Lytro, the company spearheading the light field camera industry will be launching an Android-powered camera in the near future.
Plenoptic photography also known as light-field tech is technology that uses a microlens array to capture 4D light field information about a scene. Such light field information can be used to improve the solution of computer graphics and computer vision-related problems, and to make digital plenoptic pictures that can be refocused after they are taken. The added benefits that come from this technology are ranges of effects such post-shot refocusing, better low-light sensitivity and quicker picture capture.
Various Android manufacturers have tried to produce products and devices that try to imitate the software used by Lytro, all with different degrees of success. HTC’s One (M8) has added software to its smartphone which allows for more precise refocusing compared to software-only solutions. Google added a Lens Blur feature to the stock Android camera app that requires users to move the phone vertically in order to capture a sense of depth from the scene. Samsung and Sony have utilized software to mimic the sophisticated selective focus feature of Lytro cameras.
According to a tweet by @evleaks, Lytro will be embracing Android in the coming months and producing cameras powered by it. It won’t be surprising if this becomes a market success right off the bat especially since Lytro’s two consumer products that have launched are quite well known and loved by many. The only consumer devices, an eponymous “point and shoot”camera and the Illum, a larger device targeted at professionals, featuring an 8x optical zoom lens and a large LCD display are gadgets that have really made a name for the company, giving it a good foundation to make success for their new endeavour and penetrate the Android user market.
Android has become the number one choice for corporations that have looked to bring smartphone features to their imaging devices. However, this partnership of light field technology and smartphones powered by Android could be an revolutionizing step. We can’t wait to hear about some concept designs and features of Lytro’s upcoming project.