Will Lytro’s light field technology move to cell phone cameras?

Lytro light field camera received Best of Innovations Award

Lytro's executives chairman Charles Chi discussed with PCWorld the possibility of licensing heir light field camera tech to phone manufacturers:

"PCW: Do you see your company licensing the imaging technology out to other camera and camera-phone manufacturers?

Chi: We feel that there's a lot of technology that we can apply to some very differentiated, very interesting, and very exciting products. We feel that we have the capital to do that, the capability in the company to do that, and also the vision to execute on the program. So we're very focused on building our own branded cameras and product line to sell in the marketplace.

If we were to apply the technology in smartphones, that ecosystem is, of course, very complex, with some very large players there. It's an industry that's very different and driven based on operational excellence. For us to compete in there, we'd have to be a very different kind of company. So if we were to enter that space, it would definitely be through a partnership and a codevelopment of the technology, and ultimately some kind of licensing with the appropriate partner."

This is interesting timing because just few days MacRumors posted a quote from the upcoming book Inside Apple which described a meeting between Steve Jobs and Ren Ng (CEO of Lytro):

"The company’s CEO, Ren Ng, a brilliant computer scientist with a PhD from Stanford, immediately called Jobs, who picked up the phone and quickly said, “if you’re free this afternoon maybe we would could get together.” Ng, who is thirty-two, hurried to Palo Alto, showed Jobs a demo of Lytro’s technology, discussed cameras and product design with him, and, at Jobs’s request, agreed to send him an email outlining three things he’d like Lytro to do with Apple."

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