The company's technology allows the focus of an image to be adjusted after it is taken. When viewing a photo taken with a camera Lytro computer screen, you can, for example, click to bring people in the foreground into sharp relief or change focus to the mountains behind them.
But is the technology of Lytro only a neat feature, or is the next big thing in cameras?
Team founder of Silicon Valley startups and investors who have put in 50 million dollars is betting on the latter. The technology has won praise from computer and rave from early users of his prototype camera.
"We see technology companies in all the time, but it is rare that someone comes up with something that is so much of a breakthrough, said Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, a big investor in Lytro."Is superexciting ".
The Lytro founder and chief executive is Ren Ng, 31. Its success, experts say, was to take the research projects of recent years — that require perhaps 100 digital cameras and hurled a supercomputer — and squeeze the technology in a camera Assistant for the consumer market, this year.
Mr Ng explained the concept in 2006 in his doctoral thesis at Stanford University, who won the contest for the best PhD dissertation in computer science that year in the world of the Association for Computing Machinery. Since then Mr Ng tried to translate the idea into a product that can be brought to the market — and building a team of people to do so.
The camera Lytro data capture more light, from many points of view, it is possible with a traditional camera. That is accomplished with a special sensor called a microlens array that provides the equivalent of many goals in a small space. "That is the heart of the publication," said Pat Hanrahan, a professor at Stanford, who was Director of Mr Ng's thesis but is not involved in Lytro.
But the wealth of raw data only light comes to life with sophisticated software that enables a viewer to pass fire points. This allows you to still photographs to explore, like never before. "Become interactive images, living," said Mr Ng. He believed that a popular use can be families and friends roaming through different perspectives on the images of, say, holidays and parties published on Facebook (Lytro will have a Facebook application).
For a photographer, both amateur and professional, the Lytro means that the technology headaches to focus a shot go away. Richard Koci Hernandez, a photojournalist, said that when he tried a prototype of this year, he immediately recognized the potential impact.
"You just concentrate on image composition, but you don't need to worry about focusing more," says Mr Hern?ndez. "This is something you do later."
"That was the aha! time for me, "said Mr. Hernandez, Assistant Professor of new media at the Graduate School of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. "This is game-changing."
Mr. Hernandez, who is not affiliated with Lytro, was one of several photographers who tested prototypes. His model, he said, was sheathed in a black plastic shell, so he has not seen his design. But he said it was the size of a standard point-and-shoot camera. Image resolution, he added, was indistinguishable from that of his other point-and-shoots, a Canon and Nikon.
Eliminating any loss of resolution in camera as of Lytro, which is capturing light data from many points of view, is a real step forward, said Shree Nayar, Professor at Columbia University and expert on computer vision. Mr Nayar is familiar with the work of Mr. Ng, but said he had not seen anything that lytro did in more than a year.