Lytro’s “Living Pictures” Come To Life In The Real World

Lytro likes to surprise its users. Since debuting its light-field camera in 2012, the company has pushed out about 10 firmware updates that give Lytro owners new features like perspective shift, living filters, and Wi-Fi sync, to name a few. Adding one more to the list, Lytro on Tuesday unveiled a capability that lets users create 3-D images that can be viewed outside its ecosystem.

“One question we’ve always had from people is how do you print a living picture,” Lytro’s technology evangelist Topher Martini told Fast Company. With the ability to create anaglyph images–stereoscopic photos where two images are superimposed–users can export and print 3-D images that have been processed for perspective shift. “By adding this increased layer of interactivity, it brings a new dimension to storytelling,” he added.

Lytro’s desktop and mobile apps have been updated so that “living pictures,” which can be refocused after they’ve been captured, can be printed and viewed with 3-D glasses and on 3-D-capable TV sets over HDMI or AirPlay.

3-D TVs remain a minority in living rooms, making up 19% of flat-panel TV sales last year. Martini attributes their low adoption rate to a “content vacuum.” “It’s not our goal, but we’re trying to add content into new ecosystems,” he said about Lytro’s embrace of 3-D TVs. Before this update, the interactivity of living pictures was available only with images hosted on the company’s servers.

The Mountain View, California-based company also announced the Apple Store will carry two exclusive models of the Lytro camera online: one in cobalt blue and another in champagne that is available only in the U.S. and Canada.AT