Multiple sources count Tech C runch that Google acquires Lytro, an image startup that specializes in clear field technology.
According to Tech C runch a source says that the deal is an "asset sale" and that the company is being bought for no more than $ 40 million. Another source says that the sale price is $ 25 million and that it has already been purchased from other companies, including Facebook.
The 59 Lytro patents related to light-field and digital imaging technologies are at stake. The company, founded in 2006, created the first consumer camera to use the technology, which resulted in the camera's ability to redirect photos to any part of the image after they are taken. Lytro cameras do this by capturing all the light rays of a scene, as well as information about their origin.
The company only manufactured two consumer cameras, none of which sold very well, and finally made the decision to refocus efforts on clear field video solutions, which could be applied to film and virtual reality. He discontinued the manufacture and distribution of Lytro cameras for photography, and in December of last year, he obtained hosting support for pictures.lytro.com, where photos taken with Lytro cameras could be shared for users to play with 3D refocus and depth features . 19659009] Although there is no detail on what Google's plans for Lytro might be, the acquisition could reinforce Google's own VR efforts. Recently, Google experimented with clear field photography, modeling one of the circular platforms of 16 "Jump" cameras that Google developed a few years ago with GoPro cameras. The cameras were taken out of the original configuration, repositioned in a vertical arc and mounted on a platform that rotates 360 degrees. The scenes that Google captured were made available in an immersive viewer application that launched "Light Fields".
If Google manages to catch Lytro on the rumored $ 40 million price tag, it would be a difficult exit for the startup. Over the years, Lytro raised more than $ 200 million in funds and as recently as 2017, it was valued at around $ 360 million. Rick Osterloh, SVP of hardware at Google, sits on the board of Lytro.