The Lytro camera has just been unveiled, and as I played with the demo interface that allows you to shift the focus from one area of a photo to another, I was reminded of a scene in the 1982 film, Bladerunner.
The hero, Deckard, chooses a suspect’s old family snapshot photo and digitally scans the picture with a computerized ESPER machine – a photo enhancer with overlaid grids. The machine allows him to enlarge, sharpen, zoom in on different areas of the photo in order to find clues (which he does). The technology even lets him shift point of view, and finally deliver a hard copy. The fantasy of making photos much more than static captures is brought forth in the movie, now nearly three decades old.
Though the Lytro, brainchild of Dr. Ren Ng, a Stanford Ph.D, may not do everything the ESPER machine did in that movie, this camera could be the quiet beginning to a very big leap forward in photo/imaging technology and products..
View a demo from IDF Shanghai at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EScbueZJVU