A company Apple might buy: Lytro
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A company Apple might buy: Lytro

Since Apple has approximately 10 bazillion bucks in the bank, much of it allotted for strategic acquisitions, one company it MIGHT (I'll explain in a moment) make sense for Apple to purchase is Lytro (http:/www.lytro.com). The company has developed a new digital camera technology using sophisticated software algorithms and a special lens that literally allow you to choose the focused point in a picture, after it's already taken.

In Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder was quoted as saying that his desires for the future involved the reinvention of three industries: television, textbooks, and photography. The Apple TV and the rumored 'iTV" cover the former. iBooks and iBooks Author tackle the second. But what of the third industry: photography? Jobs purportedly did met with the CEO of Lytro, though we may never know why.

Last week, "iLounge" released its "New iPad Buyers' Guide." In the announcement (http://macte.ch/ZPVEs) of the guide's release, "iLounge" includes a two-page spread arguing that Apple may be working on a camera product of some sort.

If so, Lytro has the sort of "wow" factor that Apple products have. Unlike a conventional camera that captures a single plane of light, the Lytro camera captures the entire light field -- that is, all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space. By instantly capturing complete light field data, it gives you capabilities unavailable in a regular camera.

As mentioned, you can focus after the fact. You can focus and re-focus anywhere in a picture and at anytime. 

As the folks at Lytro point out, focusing after the fact means no auto-focus motor. No auto-focus motor means no shutter delay.

Perhaps Jobs never actually met with Lytro. If he did, perhaps it involved licensing their technology for current Apple products. However, if Jobs -- and now Tim Cook -- does have its eye on a standalone camera of some sort, Lytro would make a fine match for our favorite tech company.

-- Dennis Sellers

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