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Investors dump $121 million into Light
  • Light, the leader in advanced computational imaging, today announced a Series D funding round of $121 million, led by the SoftBank Vision Fund. The renowned Leica Camera AG also participated in the financing. Light’s groundbreaking imaging platform enables machines to see like humans do, using sophisticated algorithms to combine images from multiple camera modules into a single high-quality image and enabling highly-accurate 3D depth extraction.

    Welcome to the era of the software-defined camera.

    In this era, pocketable, connected cameras can reconstruct the world in three dimensions and superhuman detail, cars are able to perceive the objects around them without the need for special sensors, and robots are able to thread the elusive needle autonomously.

    Light’s highly accurate depth mapping can be used to create rich and complex environments for a wide-range of applications including augmented reality.

    The new funding will allow Light to expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography and into security, robotic, automotive, aerial and industrial imaging applications. Later this year, the first mobile phone incorporating Light’s technology will be available to consumers around the world. It will shatter the expectations of mobile photography.

    “Light’s technology is a revelation, showing that several small, basic camera modules, combined with highly powerful software, can produce images that rival those produced by cameras costing and weighing orders of magnitude more. We’re just getting started. Having the support of SoftBank Vision Fund as a strategic investor means this technology will see more of the world sooner than we could have ever imagined,” said Dave Grannan, Light CEO and Co-founder.

    “Light is a world leader in computational imaging. By replacing mechanical complexity with digital sophistication, they have been able to drastically reduce the size, weight, and cost of traditional cameras. This has paved the way for a whole new era of intelligent imaging applications” said Akshay Naheta, Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe that the opportunity to proliferate these technologies across other data-rich imaging platforms means that Light will completely revolutionize the world of mobile imaging and we are excited to be supporting the team in realising this ambition.”

    Whole thing is like black hole eating money. It seems like main value is in some patents and algorithms, as products are subpar for now.

    My prediction that they'll close without fanfares within 2 years. Or will be bough for their patents.

  • 3 Replies sorted by
  • In the unlikely event that they fix their software so that the stitches are seamless without glitches/weird artifacts, their camera is pretty exciting. Since they probably won't, you're likely right that they will be someone's patent folder acquisition (probably for much less than has been invested so far).

    See also: lytro.

  • @eatstoomuchjam

    Issues are fundamental. Yes, they try to blend areas where stitching is not possible properly, but it shows.

  • Just like those 3D mapping glasses used to 3D print the jewels in Oceans 8!