Lytro is seeing more and more competition these days, as more and more companies are jumping into the “snap now, focus later” game. There are now apps that mimic the technology, and companies like Toshiba are working on building Lytro-style smartphone camera modules.
Lytro’s latest challenger may be quite a formidable foe: it appears that Nokia has invested in Pelican Imaging, another startup that’s working on building Lytro-style smartphone camera arrays.
With the limited lens and sensor sizes of cell phone cameras, the megapixel race isn’t really doing much to improve the quality of the resulting photos. A new startup called Pelican Imaging thinks it can revolutionize the game by increasing quality without focusing on megapixels. Instead, they use an array of 25 micro-cameras to capture each image, processing the data into a single photograph with fancy software. If all goes well, future cell phones will be taking much nicer photos while still staying thin and compact.
Pelican Imaging (via GigaOM)