Lytro; or why Instagram has made them obsolete
Ottway Ducard stashed this in startups
Stashed in: Instagram!
Lytro is simultaneously ahead of the curve and behind the times.
Instagram has made them obsolete, I'm afraid.
What is it and why would I have cared pre-Instagram?
Helps you refocus a picture ex-post-facto; basically, apply a "focus" filter to your picture after you've already taken it. Which, as Instagram has shown, is a great way to make a average or poor-looking photo appear great.
It's also incredibly small and pocket-sized; perhaps I should say the iPhone + Instagram have made Lytro obsolete (although, of course, that's tautological in a way -- instagram would not exist without the iPhone and its ilk).
People like taking photos. People like even more taking photos that look like they are professional-quality. Lytro/Instagram help make amateurs look like pros. As Instagram is an extension of your already existing phone, why buy a new and completely different camera? DSLRs for people who truly care about their craft; iPhone/Android and Camera+, Instagram, Path et. al for those who don't. I feel Lytro is in a hinterlands, and I wouldn't be surprised if they sell in the next year to a social tech or phone company e.g. Samsung, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google.
The technology was evidently based on some award-winning patents.
I'm going to make a rather bold statement; social/mobile/location-based apps are changing the world as we know them.
The reason so many folks build them, is because fundamentally that is what people get smartphones for:
1. To stay in touch
2. To capture memories
3. To record and access their personal history.
4. To alleviate ennui.
5. Learning/Knowledge gathering
Ergo; a "SoMoLo" app targets 3/5 of the principle reasons an average consumer uses mobile phone.
Whatsapp, Instagram, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and the east-asian versions of all these apps/companies; it makes sense that they are the most successful on mobile and everybody else is struggling.
First; they're competing against the phone itself. I can do 1-3 + 5 on a smartphone with its native apps, without downloading anything. Take photos, email them; text/make phone calls, even on Apple I can now do face-to-face chat. I have a web browser, can use google rather easily; surf wikipedia or read news articles. Why would I get apps for all of those things unless there is a really compelling unique value proposition? Like make my photo look better, and let me share that photo easily with my friends -- more easily than I can do with native apps
What the iPhone/Android don't really come with are anything to alleviate #4: boredom; which means, it's no surprise that games are the most popular apps on mobile devices. People are bored all the time, and there's no native way to deal with boredom natively, other than browsing popular web apps (e.g. 9gag, Reddit, Pandawhale.
I take that back, iPhone used to have YouTube, but now they took that away. I'd not be surprised if there was an uptick in games purchases/downloads now that the youTube is no longer native on iOS devices.
But now that Instagram is mainstream Lytro is the new cool thing.
For $400/$500? Poor people can't afford it, and rich people are too smart with their money to waste it.
But hipsters dress poor and act rich.