Lytro changes the focus on future of photography

by Richard Green

Lytro, a Mountain View start-up company, is looking to change the world of photography for good when it introduces its first camera later this year.

The company plans to include “light field” technology which is similar to software demonstrated by Adobe a few years ago. This tech allows users to change the point of focus and the dept of field after the photograph has been taken rather than having to get the right settings at the time.

The fact that light-field technology was developed back in the 1990s means that while it is an extremely cool advance, it is not a new idea, however, the ability to be able miniaturise the required components and include them into the hardware of the camera itself rather than relying on 100 cameras and a supercomputer or simulate effect through post-production software, is.

The upcoming camera works by using a collection of lenses which are located between the lens and image sensor to measure the amount of light coming and the direction of the light. This means that as well as allowing inexperienced camera owners to adjust the way their shots look, in order to fix bad photography later or bring out the details they want to be most prominent as you would get by changing the focus and aperture settings on a DSLR, the new cameras will also allow photos to be taken in 3d or in low light without a flash to bleach the colour out of images. There are also plans to use the tech for video and scientific uses at some point in the future.

In an interview with All Things Digital, Ren Ng, the Lytro’s founder and chief executive has said that the company hopes to have a “Competitively priced consumer product that will fit in your pocket” on sale later this year, however what the enigmatic term “competitively priced” actually equates to, Ng declined to comment.


Nokia joins European graphene reasearch team

by Kevin Gilmartin

The future’s bright. The future’s…a bright green Nokia? That can’t be right!

Well actually, according to the Nokia Conversations blog, it’s entirely possible. The Finnish tech giant has joined a number of research centres of excellence around Europe in the study of a futuristic material called graphene.

Graphene is, according to its Wiki entry, “an allotrope [different chemical form of the same element] of carbon, whose structure is one-atom-thick planar sheets of sp2-bonded carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice.”

Basically, it’s really, really, thin yet strong sheets of carbon.

The research team contains four Nobel prize winners; Dr. Andre Geim and Dr. Konstantin Novoselov with Dr. K. von Klitzing and Dr. A. Fert on the advisory board.

Joining Nokia and the Nobel laureates (it sounds like a posh indie band!) are a list of leading European experts in graphene including the Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Manchester, the University of Lancaster, the University of Cambridge, AMO Gmbh, the Catalan institute of Nanotechnology, the Italian research council and the European Science foundation.

Nokia are interested in this material as part of their “future disruptions” programme, whereby they hope to drastically alter the future shape of technology markets. They believe they can use graphene and other nanotechnologies to create devices such as their Nokia Morph concept device.

I say “device” because it’s rather difficult to categories exactly what this thing would be, it’s a phone and a tablet all in one. Confused? Don’t blame you. Check out the rather gorgeous concept video below, and don’t even try to tell us it doesn’t excite you a little bit.