A nearly universal trope in science fiction movies – and a lot of non-sci-fi dramatic movies/TV shows that exchange realistic police forensics for nonsensical rubbish – is the use of a blurry security camera image which is magically “enhanced.” Well, soon the “Lytro” camera will be made available that can kinda do that. Using an image sensor that not only records the color and intensity of light rays but also their vectors, the Lytro camera produces an image that is apparently more of a 3 dimensional block of data than a single 2-D flat image… with the end result being that you can focus the image *after* it’s been taken. Behold:
And this little video shows some of the “Light Field” photos focussing back and forth, as well as the 3-D possibilities with the single-lens camera:
If part of that – specifically the part where the fixed camera produces an image that can be panned back and forth – seems familiar to you, rest assured that it seemed familiar to me, too.