Lytro Promises to Revolutionize Photography
By recording and processing the direction of light rays entering its sensor, the forthcoming Lytro camera promises to provide previously impossible features, such as the capability to focus on any part of a photo, at any time, or even bring an entire photo into focus at once. The camera isn’t slated for release until later in 2011, but you can play with refocusing photos and read more about the technology on Lytro’s site now (the picture gallery requires Flash on a Mac, but does work in iOS via HTML5).
I just scanned Dr. Ng's thesis, what a beautiful piece of work! I frequently cope with blurry photos and after-the-fact sharpening algorithms. What a wonderful breakthrough this is!
The New York Times has a nice article about Lytro too.
It's worth mentioning that the interactive aspect of the gallery shots doesn't exist if you use a Flash blocker such as the "ClickToFlash" extension for Safari. It's not obvious that there's any Flash content in the page, so you have to right-click and select "Load All Flash".
Otherwise, you'll be left scratching your head for a while - like I was - wondering what the fuss is all about. :-)
Interestingly, if you view the site on an iOS device, it uses some sort of HTML5 approach for the picture gallery. It's not great, but it sort of works, even without Flash.
Our own Glenn Fleishman has now written about this topic for the Babbage blog at The Economist.