Lytro cuts staff, but promises “breakthrough products” in 2014


posted Monday, August 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM EDT


When the Lytro camera was first announced, it garnered an impressive response for the incredible technology it was based on, allowing users to focus the image after it was already captured.  But despite the many features added via firmware updates, the $400 asking price and poor image quality of the Lytro meant that this light field camera has never really caught on. Now, Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal has confirmed the company has laid off some staff, but promises major new releases are in the works for 2014.

Talking to SFGate, Rosenthal admitted that a small number of employees had been fired in February, but talked about some big changes for the company. He stated that "We have a packed product roadmap for next year, we’ll introduce multiple what I think are just breakthrough products. I’m super excited and the world will be as well."

Rosenthal wasn't too specific on details, but cited a wider array of price points and features that eclipse similarly priced cameras by "an order of magnitude." In terms of Lytro's long term plans, he said the company will focus on “the new software and hardware stack for everything with a lens and sensor. That’s still cameras, video cameras, medical and industrial imaging, smartphones, the entire imaging ecosystem.”

Despite the Lytro receiving accolades as wide as one of Time Magazine's Top 10 Gadgets of 2012, only a small number of early adopters have seemed interested in the product. Whether Lytro's promised new features will turn the tide, remains to be seen.

What do you think? Is there a place for Lytro's innovative light field camera technology in the future, or is this just a case of media hype over a product that creates a solution for a problem that doesn't exist?