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Camera Company Lytro Raises $50 Million to Move into VR

There’s no doubt that virtual reality (VR) is helping to surge the popularity of 360 degree videos, allowing users to put on a head-mounted display (HMD) and watch real-time footage as if they were really there. That said, a true standard for shooting VR video is yet to emerge in this early stage of the technology’s life. Camera company Lytro is hoping to make its mark on the industry as it has raised some $50 million USD in order to start working in VR.

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The company has confirmed to Re/code that it is making a strategic shift to focus on new areas such as VR. CEO Jason Rosenthal revealed that it was looking to provide a solution to the difficulties of capturing real footage in VR with its light-field technology. All that said, Lytro is looking to cut between 25 to 50 people from its 150-strong workforce in order to make way for these changes. The company will also be hiring experts in the new areas that it is looking to get into.

The company’s past cameras allowed users to take ‘living pictures’ which could refocus on different areas after being taken. Concepts such as this could certainly have their uses in VR. However Lytro’s specific plans for the technology have not been revealed; could it be working on a 360 degree rig to compete with other VR companies? VRFocus will continue to follow the company’s progress in this new field, reporting back with any further updates from it.