We haven’t heard much from Lytro since the maker of the innovative Light Field camera launched its inaugural product more than a year ago, but judging from the way the company’s new CEO is talking, we could be hearing a lot more soon. In an interview with SFGate, CEO Jason Rosenthal says the company has "a packed product roadmap for next year," adding that, "we’ll introduce multiple what I think are just breakthrough products. I’m super excited and the world will be as well." He later likened the difference between the company's existing and upcoming products to the gap between Tesla's first electric car, the Roadster, and the well-received Model S.
"Features that professional photographers are looking for."
For all the big talk, there are still practically no details about the mysterious new products, other than brief mentions of a broad pricing strategy and features that are more powerful than what point-and-shoot customers can find on the market today. One such feature could be video — founder Eric Cheng first mentioned it back in January of 2012, but we haven't heard anything since. A partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz provided a tiny bit of extra detail, stating that "at least one new device would include features that professional photographers are looking for," according to SFGate. The next generation of cameras also ought to be cheaper to produce, owing to advances in software that get rid of the need for specialized hardware components.
Lytro’s signature technology lets viewers re-focus images taken with its cameras after the fact, turning a static post on a web page into a more interactive experience, like the example above. But while it makes for an impressive tech demo, the company has had difficulty competing in the collapsing market for point-and-shoot cameras, particularly at its $399 price point, which makes news of cheaper products particularly interesting. The company still has big ambitions, too — Rosenthal said that Lytro aims to be "the new software and hardware stack for everything with a lens and sensor. That’s still cameras, video cameras, medical and industrial imaging, smartphones, the entire imaging ecosystem."