Lytro to focus on VR and video with $50 million investment

Sponsored Links

Lytro to focus on VR and video with $50 million investment

Lytro -- maker of "shoot now, focus later" cameras -- is diving into the virtual reality and video market, following an investment of $50 million led by GSV Capital. The market shift means Lytro will lay off 25 - 50 of its 130 employees, and at the same time hire new folks with expertise in VR and video. Lytro is best known for its tubelike, selective-focus cameras released in 2012, though its newest model, the Illum, is a high-end SLR-style device. The company has been feeling out its target market for a while, and while we thought the new camera was better than its predecessor, VR might turn out to be a better fit for Lytro overall.

Virtual reality is all the rage in the tech world, and its recent explosion at the Sundance Film Festival demonstrated its serious mass-market appeal. But, so far, no one company has jumped to the front of the pack when it comes to VR video. Capturing real-life worlds for 360-degree, multi-focus film presents a number of challenges to movie makers. Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal tells Re/code, "Light-field is really the perfect solution for this."

Lytro still plans on releasing its third-generation camera next year, a device that we noted "should be pretty intriguing," considering the technological advances and ergonomic missteps of the Illum.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget