Earlier this month, it was reported that Google was in the process of acquiring the camera maker Lytro for anywhere between $25 and $40 million.
At the time, it was speculated that the acquisition would bring over the majority of Lytro’s employees into Google’s fold and that they would be working on Google’s own efforts with light-field photography experiments. Google would also likely be picking up Lytro’s assets. However, it sounds like most of that initial report isn’t panning out.
Lytro did confirm today in a public blog post that it is shutting down, with efforts right now to “wind down” the company over an unknown period of time. During that time, Lytro will not be “taking on new productions and providing professional services”. Lytro goes on to say “We’re excited to see what new opportunities the future brings for the Lytro team as we go our separate ways. We would like to thank the various communities that have supported us and hope that our paths will cross in the future.”
According to sources speaking with The Verge, some of Lytro’s employees are indeed heading over to Google. However, those new additions to Google’s teams will be spread out through a variety of divisions, and Google won’t be implementing any Lytro assets into its current light-field camera initiatives. Google is indeed picking up some Lytro assets, but there appears to be no direct plans to integrate them into any current Google projects.
As for the acquisition itself, it looks like Google’s deal with Lytro is more in tune with a hiring deal rather than a straight acquisition.
Whatever the finer details are, there’s no doubt that Google’s teams are getting some quality talent from Lytro. Still sad to see the futuristic light-field camera company going dark, though.