Steve Jobs Expressed Interest In Light Field Cameras From Lytro

As the upcoming Inside Apple book by Adam Lashinsky revealed, last summer Steve Jobs expressed interest in products of photography company Lytro and subsequently met with its CEO Ren Ng. Steve Jobs asked Ren Ng to outline three things he would want the company to do with Apple.

The photography company received a lot of press after they put on sale its light field cameras in October last year. The product was even awarded Popular Science's Innovation of the Year.

Light field cameras made by Lytro captures “the entire light field” and save all that data in a single file. Then photographers can edit the file in different ways – including changing focus of the image. The video above demonstrates this unique technology.

One of the limitations in the first Lytro’s light field cameras is a low resolution. These cameras produce final photos of only 1.2 MP (1,080x1,080). Also the cameras don’t record any video and their price starts at $399 for a model with 8GB storage. The camera’s elongated form factor seems to be required for housing its unusual optics.

Given the attention the product has received from the public, it’s no surprise that Steve Jobs expressed interest in meeting with the company. However, that meeting is especially interesting as the Walter Isaacson had said that Steve Jobs wanted to reinvent textbooks, television and photography.

Apple just launched its first digital textbooks for using on the iPad, and is going to enter into the television space. However, Apple’s future plans for photography remain unclear. Over the past few years Apple has significantly improved camera quality in its iPhones. While Apple no longer manufactures digital cameras, they were among the first to release a consumer digital camera in 1994.

Given the popularity of smartphones and the subsequent falling demand of point and shoot cameras, we’d expect that Apple’s future efforts in photography space would be focused on the iPhone

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Written by maxim

Tuesday, January 24, 2012. 16:02

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