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Lytro Camera Technology in Smartphones? Yes, Please.


If there was one new tech invention of the last year that will actually change the game and can blow the minds of even non-techies, it is easily the Lytro camera. Not familiar with Lytro? I’ll do my best to sum it up.

The Lytro camera takes “living photos” that can be manipulated well after they have been taken. And when I say “manipulated,” I’m not talking about some Photoshop trickery or a hipster filter. I’m talking about refocusing it on a different area over and over again. This camera captures the entire light field “which is all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space” or dimension. The camera itself takes instant photos with no shutter lag and no need to deal with an autofocus. Since the focusing happens on objects of your choice after the photo has been taken, you don’t have to worry about it during the shot. So, you get insanely fast photos and the perfect shot that you decide on afterwards. Make sense? 

In an interview with PCWorld, the Lytro executive chairman Charles Chi talked about the future of their product and where they could see it headed. Smartphones are obviously on everyone’s minds these days when it comes to new technology, so Chi provided some thoughts saying:

If we were to apply the technology in smartphones, that ecosystem is, of course, very complex, with some very large players there. It’s an industry that’s very different and driven based on operational excellence. For us to compete in there, we’d have to be a very different kind of company. So if we were to enter that space, it would definitely be through a partnership and a codevelopment of the technology, and ultimately some kind of licensing with the appropriate partner.

So no definitive confirmations on Lytro coming to a cell phone near you any time soon, but can we start a campaign to help make it happen? Some of the top complaints we see time and time again when it comes to smartphones, have to do with cameras. And when it comes to cameras, we see a lot of issues with shutter lag and focusing, something the Lytro bypasses.

Overview of Lytro:




Via:  PCWorld | More on Lytro

  • Jdstell

    Sweet, Galaxy Nexus 3 with a Lytro cam is only $899 with a two-year contract!!

  • Austinrgoebel

    i would love to see this technology on phones, i wish it was on my nexus :/

  • Anonymous

    HECK YES i want this… if the droid 4 had this id end my phone journey 

  • magy gomez

    my best friend’s mom makes $77/hr on the laptop. She has been out of a job for 5 months but last month her check was $8968 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more… MakeCash2.ćom

  • Michael Richardson aka Rainabb

    More failed Marketing IMO when they demo a great concept but use services and products that are outdated and disappearing while ignoring the up-and-coming and/or dominant services and products. When will companies learn…..

  • Georgetown Sir

    I like how it was conveniently left out that the lytro articles that were surfacing yesterday pertained to Steve jobs wanting to implement the technology in the upcoming iPhones. I know this is droid-life, but to butcher the article as if its a broad topic and not clearly written in the deceased man’s biography is pretty classless.

  • I’ve heard rumors Lytro might work together with the next iphone.

    I’d like to see them partner up with a good phone maker instead.

  • Interstellarmind

    One draw back: you need their proprietary software to be able to use it. This reaks of Apple! However, Android can bake lytro into itself and get the edge over apple… we’ll see!

  • I wonder if you would also be able to record video with this,and also how it performs under low ISOs.

  • johnny G

    That camera is bulky and contains, i believe, around 22 camera sensors… and the files are HUUUGGGEEE!!!! The camera is a cool gimmick but a waste of space both in your backpack or suitcase and on your hard drive.

  • Anonymous

    My upskirt shots will never be the same

    • Anonymous

      Ha, nice 1 +100

  • jbonics

    Yes and after that the 4K camera technology in a phone

  • Coolest. Camera. Technology. EVER!!

    • Anonymous

      Not.Coolest.Camera.Technology.EVER 😉

  • Kris Brandt

    Interesting.  How would these cameras work on panoramic views?

  • RW-1

    Why? Because they’ll market it to the lemmings.

    Another gimmick that we don’t need in mobile smartphones. Plain and simple.

    • Anonymous

      How do you consider it a gimmick? Depth of field might be a little gimmicky but this would mean true instant shots. No waiting for the camera to focus, no matter what you were taking a picture of.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of Cameras and smartphones. Who would be interested in a Sony Nexus? I would based on their latest developments.

  • PyroHoltz

    Asking if this tech should be in smartphones is like asking someone if they’d like a larger paycheck without doing anything additional.


  • BigLa

    I’m all for it on my phone, but seems like more of a gimmick to me. When the Lytro came out I didn’t see too many photographers taking it seriously.

  • Dshudson

    I used to have LCT in my Tbolt until someone told me to get the GNex. Now I just have a phone with no data. 🙁 no really I didn’t, but you get my point. 

  • Anonymous

    mind = blown

  • Anonymous

    The statement:  “which is all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space”, is not possible based on physics.  Only light moving toward the camera can be captured.  Light moving away from the camera, unless reflected back, cannot be captured.

    • It’s probably a marketing technique to make the product sound very advanced to the average person like ‘Retina’ display. My buddies were actually just slamming the LG Spectrum’s display and Samsungs because ‘Retina’ is the best out there’!!!

      • Anonymous

        Well when you have things out there like “Rule All Machines”, you have to think that some people are gullible.

        • Haha yeah. There’s a good amount littered in all the DROID!! commercials.

          • Anonymous

            First time i heard “To powerful to fall into the wrong hands!!” i was like WTF do people really fall for that stuff????  But i guess it works or Moto and Big Red wouldn’t be spending millions doing it…….

          • Anonymous

            First time i heard “To powerful to fall into the wrong hands!!” i was like WTF do people really fall for that stuff????  But i guess it works or Moto and Big Red wouldn’t be spending millions doing it…….

          • Wyveryx

            I can’t stand the new ads, they’re too damn flamboyant. Wish they would go back to the way they did it with the OG. Showing things it’s competitors couldn’t do. Their iDont commercials were the best!

    • Sven Enterlein

      Apple and McGuyver will make it possible!

    • Michael Richardson aka Rainabb

      “Lytro’s camera combines a micro-lens array with a software engine to create a plenoptic camera. Essentially, the micro-lens array is used with a square aperture and a traditional image sensor (CCD or CMOS) to capture a view from multiple angles simultaneously. The captured image, which looks like thousands of versions of the exact same scene, from slightly different angles, is then processed to derive the rays of light in the light field. The light field can then be used to regenerate an image with the desired focal point(s), or as a 3D point cloud.

      The performance characteristics for capture should be similar to a comparable non-plenoptic camera, except that the effective spatial resolution is lower due to the nature of resolving/constructing the image. The primary tradeoff is that a light field image requires a lot more digital processing, and requires heavy interpolation to achieve high pixel counts in a generated image. The best description that I have heard of this process is “raytracing in reverse.”

      The end result is a camera that shouldn’t cost much more than a traditional digital camera, but can be considerably smaller by not needing a focusing assembly.”



  • Anonymous

    I’d love to see this tech on mobile, but it might not appeal to the masses since you would have to go back and manually choose a focus point for each photo. That said, screw the masses; shut up and take my money, Lytro!

    • If they implemented it into smartphones, they would likely allow you to edit and focus the photos from the phone. You can focus them from the camera and on software currently.

      • Anonymous

        I was saying that under the assumption that the focus choice would be enabled from the phone itself. I still think it would piss off the average, idiot consumer. “Why don’t the pictures ‘just work,’ like they do for my iPhone?”

        Never underestimate the idiocy of the masses. To quote Winston Churchill, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

        • Anonymous

          +1 for the idiot consumer quote!! lol

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, this is pretty awesome tech.  I wonder if it eliminates visual noise when taking low-light shots too..?

  • Anonymous

    This sounds revolutionary. Wonder what company they’ll end up partnering with though.

    • Anonymous

      Seems pretty apparent based on the tech they used in their demos, Apple.

  • This is insane if true…

  • Anonymous

    I believe their is currently limits to the MP equivalent (since they don’t use MP) and other quality versus a high end camera (DSLR for example) but for phones I would imagine they would work just fine.

  • Sounds impressive. With a camera like this it probably infringes on one of Apples patents*. Probably the whole camera and editing software they have in iOS.

    • QtDL

      Grammar police.
      Apples patients = Apple’s patents

      • hahaha. Sorry officer. I corrected it and it wont happen again.

        • Anonymous

          won’t* 🙂

        • You are nearing your third strike 🙂

    • Sven Enterlein

      I read yesterday that Steve Jobs already talked to the inventors and probably secured SOME kind of deal… It appeared in the biography, I think. Anyway, Apple might indeed have their greedy hands on that already

      • Yeah. I herd he had secured a deal with Thomas Edison on his camera’s way back in the day.

    • I just checked, and Apple has a patent on remembering what happens at parties, so we won’t be able to use this camera indoors.

  • Chris

    This sounds.. Revolutionary!! I can’t wait!

  • Josh Groff

    My friend’s feature phone had a similar post focus option, but this sounds awesome, majorly looking forward to it.

  • Anonymous

    THE VERGE had them on the show in November … They had a working prototype on stage.

    • Dliuzzo110

      I saw this interview. These things are nothing short of incredable but some serious bucks

    • Dliuzzo110

      I saw this interview. These things are nothing short of incredable but some serious bucks

    • You can pre-order them now for $399 minimum heh.