The Lytro camera was officially announced in October 2011, offering an 8x optical zoom and an f/2 lens in a compact and unique design. But what sets the Lytro apart is its excellent low light performance and the ability to refocus on any part of the picture after the shot has been captured without any additional hardware or software.
In a recent interview with PC World, the Executive Chairman of Lytro, Charles Chi, shed some light on the future of the innovative camera. It seems that the chairman is not averse to licencing the technology to smartphone manufacturers and working in tandem with one of the established players in the smart devices market segment. That is a road map we can definitely get behind.
The fact that the iPhone 4S is the second most popular camera on Flickr, is evidence that the camera component of smartphones is one that is highly utilized and very attractive to consumers. If Lytro is able to bring its low light performance levels and refocusing abilities to smartphones, end-users should be delighted with the results. The move would make smartphone cameras as idiot-proof and easy to use as possible, and this would definitely be a huge draw for consumers.
However, it must be noted that the Lytro camera itself costs US$399 for the 8GB model. If the same technology is incorporated into smartphones, there is bound to be a spike in prices. Perhaps after the camera hits the market in a couple of months time, we will be able to further assess whether the it would be worth the cost to have the Lytro ported to smartphones.