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Google reportedly snatches Lytro, the lover of light-field tech

by Justin Herrick | March 21, 2018March 21, 2018 9:00 am PST

Soon there could be an announcement that Google’s acquired Lytro, the company developing light-field technology in virtual reality.

The deal hasn’t been confirmed by either side but will likely be worth much less than Lytro’s value in its early days. Last year, the company completed a round of funding for a $360 million valuation. What Google pays could be as little as $25 million, according to¬†TechCrunch. But there’s a chance Lytro gets as much as $40 million from the acquisition.

Not all employees will make their way over to Mountain View. Google is largely interested in picking up digital imaging technology patents, issuing severance packages to some of Lytro’s team in the process. Lytro is said to have nearly sixty patents on-hand.

More than two years ago, Lytro moved away from being a company focused solely on light-field cameras. It released the Lytro Camera in 2012 before rolling out the full-sized Illum in 2014. Sales were underwhelming as time went by, so the company pivoted to virtual reality. Now its light-field technology is used in virtual reality, allowing content creators to shoot immersive environments in dynamic fashion.

The plan Google has for Lytro’s technology and patents is unclear, but the company has been doing a lot of work applying machine learning to photos and videos.

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Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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