In the seconds after Ren Ng took this photo of a friend's daughter, he wondered, Do pictures have to be focused before you take the shot? Pursuing that question reframed his life.
Back in July 2006, Ng wrote a groundbreaking, 187-page dissertation that explored a then-theoretical notion that a camera sensor could capture all light traveling in every direction, allowing a photograph to be refocused after the snap. This February, he transformed theory into a shutterbug sensation: Lytro, his rectangular spyglasslike camera, enables users to capture a picture from virtually all depths and lenses with just one click.
Earns B.S. at Stanford, followed by an M.S. in 2002 and his PhD in 2006
Builds prototype for his dissertation
Completes 187-page dissertation; founds Lytro
Raises $50 million for Lytro
Launches the Lytro camera