Just four months after announcing its intention to transform photography, camera startup Lytro has announced its first product. The company’s ‘light field camera’ may not look or work like anything currently on the market but, with an asking price starting at $399, it’s clear that the company can conform to conventional expectations.
This is really interesting, they’ve specifically gone back to scratch to design something functional for the purpose, this camera design is no longer based on the traditional film-based shape. Note that this rarely happens, cars for instance could look quite different but manufacturers appear to baulk a the risk of introducing something too different…
And the way the camera works is quite revolutionary as well. It has no moving parts, but a set of lenses that work together with the CCD to also capture information about where light came from. This allows it to “focus after the fact”, on pretty much any object in the picture. So, you can take photos more quickly as the system doesn’t need to focus, and you can re-focus on something else later. Quite brilliant!
The following story is not just about outsourcing, China or the US situation. As author Steve Denning writes, it’s been happening in Germany and elsewhere in Europe too, and it’s pretty clear Australia is in the same boat.
This article does a very good job of painting the more complete picture that’s necessary to understand that’s actually going on, and why. The individual decisions appeared to make sense, at the time – however they created serious problems later: the US now can’t innovate on certain things (such as solar panels) because they no longer have either the research skills or the manufacturing capability for the components – they’ve long moved overseas, or just been outsourced. Gone.
That’s something Upstarta cares a lot about: actions have consequences, and we don’t want to “create monsters”.
“An economist is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Old joke based on Oscar Wilde’s quip about a cynic.
I recently noted how conventional cost accounting inexorably focuses executives’ attention on increasing short-term profits by cutting costs. The same thing happens in economics. […]