Google reportedly close to acquiring Lytro for $40 million
Lytro, a startup that has been building light field cameras, has had very limited consumer appeal. The company has done a little better diverting to professional cinematographic use cases to open up new ways of compositing and visual effects.
But the data that can be obtained from light field cameras could be very much useful in closing the gap between Android and Apple for facial recognition, depth-tracking, mixed reality applications and other purposes.
TechCrunch reports from multiple sources that Google is pursuing an “asset” acquisition of Lytro for “no more than $40 million” with one source saying that the amount could be closer to $25 million. In 2017, Lytro was valued at $360 million.
The search giant is supposedly in contention with Facebook and Apple, both increasingly engaged in software applications using hardware to extract spatial data. However, it appears that Google is currently the favorite bidder right now because its hardware chief, Rick Osterloh, is on Lytro’s board of directors.
Lytro has 59 patents to its name. It’s claimed that some employees have already taken severance pay and that few positions would be carried over to any prospective owner.