Jan 25th, 2012

The folks at Lytro have been working on their light-based camera technology for a while now and it is nothing short of stunning. The technology captures images alongside the entire light field to enable post-capture focusing on any subject in a given picture.

Imagine being at a party and drunkenly snapping a photo of your friends. You probably forgot to check the focus and you get home disappointed to find out that your friends are out of focus.

With Lytro you can refocus on any part of the photo using their editing software, and you can do it as many times as you want. This sort of technology would especially be useful in smartphones and Lytro says they have considered the possibility of bringing the tech to smartphones. Says Lytro’s Charles Chi:

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.

We’re not sure how OEMs would feel about partnering with Lytro but we can’t imagine that at least one isn’t keeping their eye on it. The interesting thing to see will be how they’ll get the technology into a compact package for the thin smartphones we’re seeing these days.

I reckon we wouldn’t see this technology in phones for quite a while if they ever do partner up with OEMs but we’re excited about the possibility of it all anyway. Watch some demo videos above and below. [PCWorld via Droid-Life]