Remember Lytro, the Silicon Valley-based startup responsible for creating a light field camera sensor that allowed users to manipulate photos after they were processed? Well it seems Toshiba liked the idea so much that the company is now working on a version of its own. The difference between Lytro's tech and Toshiba's is that Lytro's is about 4 inches in size, while Toshiba's is far smaller.
According to Engadget, which cites a report from The Asahi Shinbun, Toshiba is developing a 1-cm Lytro-like module made up of some 500,000, 0.03-mm lenses that will sit in front of an imaging sensor. Like Lytro's camera, the Toshiba unit's army of lenses each capture their own images, which are then combined into one larger picture.
After an image is compiled, users can manipulate its point of focus using a dedicated program. For example, if you shoot a picture of a subject against an interesting background, you can choose between focusing on either the background or the subject after the original photo has been taken. In addition to standard still photos, the technology is also expected to be available for use with video.
Plans call for Toshiba to make the technology commercially available by the end of 2013.