'Light field' camera maker Lytro announces professional VR video rig
TheVerge.com reports that camera maker Lytro drew our attention three years ago with what it called “light field” photography. Instead of focusing at a specific depth, its camera would capture everything in range of its finder, so you could do things like pick a focus after taking the picture. It was a fascinating technology, but one that appealed mostly to camera buffs. Earlier this year, though, the company cut its workforce, raised $50 million in funding, and began focusing on how light fields could be used in virtual reality. Today, it’s releasing its first camera rig for VR video: the Lytro Immerge.
Lytro previously added VR headset support for still images, but the Immerge isn’t just a traditional camera that takes video. Like the Jaunt Neo system, it’s a ring of cameras that capture almost an entire sphere, combined with a software setup that lets filmmakers blend them all together. Actually, we’re talking about several separate rings, which Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal says contain “multiple hundreds” of cameras and sensors. Like Lytro’s still cameras, the Immerge will work alongside a software system that processes it for various VR headsets. Unlike those cameras, the Immerge captures enough data that Lytro also created a portable server that can store an hour of video.