Part two of the Apple co-founders three-part-plan of reinvention was completed just last week with the release of the iBooks 2 platform and iBooks Author, two Apple products designed to replace the old, paper textbooks in students’ backpacks with just one iPad. Part three, though, photography, is certainly still amidst reinvention. Some may say that Apple’s iPhone 4S that allows for facial recognition, almost-instant photo captures, HDR-photo taking, 1080P video recording, and on device photo editing, all through a high-quality Sony eight-megapixel sensor is mobile photography at its finest, but Steve Jobs was thinking way beyond that. Read on for all of the details:
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.
Jobs was actively pursuing his goal of reinventing photography, asking the CEO of Lytro to outline three specific things that the company would want to work on with Apple. As Lytro explains on their official website, their technology is extremely unique, and fits the build of reinventing something as apparently simple as capturing a photo. Apple made a point to explain how much light the new iPhone 4S camera can take in with its new sensor and its newly designed 5-lens optics system. Instead of working in a single-pane fashion – like most cameras today – Lytro’s technology is able to actually instantly intake an entire light-field at one time.
Behind the scenes of Lytro’s camera technology
Lytro says this means their sensor can take in ”all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space.” Of course, this incredibly advanced and seemingly futuristic camera technology would be perfect in a thin and light mobile device for the mass-market consumer. It would push this future into millions of customer’s hands. While the iPhone 4S camera is incredibly speedy, in comparison to competing smartphone camera systems, Lytro’s technology would make picture taking instant. The company claims this instant photo taking makes the Lytro system like no-other.
Lytro’s official video
The other headline feature of the Lytro camera system is its ability to take photos without being focused on a particular object. The photos that the Lytro camera can take can be focused after the fact. In terms of integration in a product like an iPhone, a user can instantly snap a photo with the lens, then use the iPhone’s (hypothetical) built in software to choose a focus on particular objects in the frame. With Steve Jobs just meeting with Lytro’s CEO this past summer, it’s difficult to tell if or when we will see this breakthrough photography technology in upcoming Apple products. It is nearly certain, though, that we will see part three of Steve Jobs’ plans for reinvention to follow Apple’s work on textbooks and the television.