Lytro drew photographers’ attention upon its idea of light-field photography when it revealed the novel technology in 2011. The concept of taking photos, then refocusing them around any object in the picture after the fact, was fascinating to say the least, leading some to speculate Lytro could end up redefining digital photography.
The company soon delivered on its promise to bring the technology to market via its own camera. The Lytro debuted in the winter of 2012. The device applied technology, pioneered by Stanford University researcher Ren Ng, that takes photos by capturing an entire plane of light. Standard cameras capture a single moment from a point of light. The upshot for consumers is that you can change the focus in a picture after the fact. Shaped like an enlarged stick of butter, it did exactly as advertised. Even better, it was simple and consumer-friendly; moreover, the pictures were shareable on Facebook and Twitter.