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Steve Jobs Investigated Lytro’s Light Field Technology as a Way to ‘Reinvent Photography’

Steve Jobs Investigated Lytro’s Light Field Technology as a Way to ‘Reinvent Photography’

Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs revealed that Jobs”had three things that he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography.” With Apple’s recent education event having tacked textbooks, and rumors running rampant about Apple’s possible Siri-powered television set, there’s only one key disruption left: photography.

As 9to5Mac reportsInside Apple author Adam Lashinsky reveals in his upcoming book that Steve Jobs was extremely interested in light field camera technology, and asked to meet with Lytro CEO Ren Ng about the technology, who enthusiastically agreed:

The company’s CEO, Ren Ng, a brilliant computer scientist with a PhD from Stanford, immediately called Jobs, who picked up the phone and quickly said, ‘if you’re free this afternoon maybe we would could get together. Ng, who is thirty-two, hurried to Palo Alto, showed Jobs a demo of Lytro’s technology, discussed cameras and product design with him, and, at Jobs’s request, agreed to send him an email outlining three things he’d like Lytro to do with Apple.

Lytro’s image technology is extremely unique. Their cameras capture “the entire light field” – every bit of light coming from any direction. This allows the camera to snap shots quickly without focusing, and then focus and edit the shots at a later time.

What’s also unique about the technology is that images are taken nearly instantly due to its extremely unique capturing system. The implication of Jobs’ interest in the technology is that future models of the iPhone could include a Lytro sensor to take iPhone photography to an exciting new level.

Even without this technology, it could be said that Apple has already revolutionized photography – the iPhone 4S can take fantastic pictures and video that rival most point-and shoot cameras. Even so, the addition of Lytro’s technology would certainly make things more interesting.

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