Our vision has always been to revolutionize the world of imaging -- to change how we capture and use images, collect more pixel data, and make camera arrays smaller but more powerful. Today marks another step towards fulfilling that vision with our partnership with Sony, adding to existing relationships with Qualcomm, Sunny, and others to be announced. In 2017, we started shipping the L16 and showed the power of Light's computational imaging technology to the photography community. Last year, we raised Series D financing with world-class partners to help us move further down the path. 2019 will be about building the future of computational imaging, expanding our efforts by working with industry leading partners and new hardware platforms to deliver better imaging for everyone.
New Opportunities and Growth
Our team has created market-leading multi-camera technology, starting from our proprietary chip to our software fusion engine. We have the only mobile chipset in the world that can capture up to 6 cameras at once. This is becoming more important as we see 3rd and 4th cameras added to the back of smartphones.
Smartphones have always been a critical area of focus for Light, especially as it has become the primary photo-taking device for so many customers. More than 85% of the images captured today are from smartphones. Our co-founder Rajiv Laroia frequently found himself in that majority even after he’d bought an expensive DSLR back in 2013. We are thrilled to take our imaging innovations -- and our higher quality -- into the smartphone space and beyond.
After spending the last several years developing our imaging technologies, we believe that Light solutions have the power to change the world: from the pinnacle of consumer photography to borderline science fiction imaging applications. Our job is to make that happen.
Our partners are critical to Light’s success in delivering better imaging solutions to various markets. Our technologies are part of a larger ecosystem of consumer electronics devices, and our partnership with Sony is another important step in creating the best camera systems in the world. For example, a smartphone will have hundreds of individual parts, of which the camera system represents a small subset. Over the past five years, we have built strong development relationships with everyone from lens component makers to System-on-Chip manufacturers. These partnerships enable us to offer optimized solutions faster and into more applications.
Light, at its core, is an imaging technology company. We are experts in building camera systems that require sophisticated multi-camera synchronization, camera array calibration, as well as computational image processing software to combine and interpret image data. Our team has over five years of experience developing and shipping camera systems to market. At the same time, we do not intend to become experts in smartphone displays or how a drone flies. Our goal is to make the images captured by both devices insanely better, and that requires incredible partners.
Early on, Foxconn invested in us because they saw a massive potential for Light technology in smartphones. Later, the Softbank Vision fund and Leica invested in us for similar potential within the camera market, autonomous cars, and beyond.
“With the rapid development of the computational photography, partnering with the innovators at Light ensures Leica to extend its tradition of excellence into the computational photography era,” said Dr. Andreas Kaufmann
We will have more partnerships to announce in 2019. Today we announced joint development with Sony that allows us to evolve our technology with access to a broad, cutting-edge sensor portfolio. The process of building state-of-the-art imaging systems requires both market-leading components and market-leading partners. We are incredibly excited about all our partners and the chance to help them design the future.
Expanded Asia Presence
In addition to building more partnerships, we have also grown our team in Asia to provide the best of in-region support. We have built out local sales and support in Korea and China, as well as adding a new member to our executive team, Frank Wu, who will lead the team from Taipei. He brings over 20 years of experience in manufacturing working across computers, mobile devices, and of course camera modules. Frank has continued to grow and focus our team in Asia, creating world-class component selection, qualification, and manufacturing support. From deploying factory floor calibration systems to providing on-site support, this team will ensure the manufacturability of Light-based products with our customers. A state-of-the-art imaging system is only viable if it adheres to required cycle times and first pass yield rates. Light’s goal has been to ensure our technology is not just cutting edge, but also manufacturable at scale.
Get Ready for MWC
Finally, we are extremely excited for Mobile World Congress (MWC) later this month. This is the premier smartphone conference in the world, and Dave Grannan, Light co-founder and our CEO, is one of the keynote speakers. Check him out on Thursday, Feb.28th at 9:30-10:45 AM GMT.
Computational imaging is the next step in capturing, sharing, and interacting with the world around us -- especially with a smartphone in everyone’s pocket. We can’t wait to share our vision in this space and hope you will check it out. Look out for more exciting announcements to come!
(To meet with us, email us at [email protected])