Lytro, the photography startup, is expanding its area by moving into virtual reality and more. Recently the company has confirmed that it has raised $50 million in funding. However, there are also plans to cut 25 to 50 employees in some areas. The areas in which the expansion will take place, apart from virtual reality, include video. While expansion happens in one side, another side will face the loss.
Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro, explained to Re/code “$50 million is a nice big number, but it is not unlimited. We had to make some pretty tough decisions.”
Virtual Reality on the Rise
Virtual reality headsets from Sony, Oculus, Valve and Samsung have garnered huge attention among consumers. The way the interest in this new medium is building up, developers are getting ready to face an explosion. However, till now, there are a limited number of tools which allow consumers to create their own content.
Lytro is entering the virtual reality space to provide the consumers an easy way to enter an immersive world.
There are many 360-degree cameras which can shoot videos and photos for virtual reality. Small startups are responsible for exclusively building inexpensive VR options which are still in their early stages. For three years now, Lytro has been shipping its light-field cameras, which lets a user refocus a snap after it has been captured.
Stereoscopic images, i.e. 3D scenes which are made by capturing and joining two pictures from different angles, can be easily developed with the light-field cameras from Lytro. They provide an inexpensive solution to the stereoscopic image capturing.
There are numerous cameras which can capture a 360 degree panorama, but they just join a series of images together, each of which are taken from a single angle. This removes the three dimensional look from the resulting image. This is where virtual reality can help. It will provide an immersive feeling to the picture.
The company is yet to release any details on the Lytro VR headset. But, it is expected that in the near future, there will be some developments which we will know eventually. As of now, we can just wait to get another device which will let us enjoy the virtual world.
What do you think?
Do you think Lytro VR will make it big? Have you used any VR device? Share your thoughts in the comments below.