Alphabet sees Light at the end of the $30m tunnel

7 Jul 2016

Alphabet’s VC arm has put $30m into start-up Light, which is bidding to replace DSLR cameras with one pretty cool device. That device, though, has been delayed.

The Light L16 camera has raised eyebrows, and attracted plenty of pre-orders as well as significant funding from Silicon Valley.

The latest round of $30m from Alphabet sees Light more than double its total funding, despite the concurrent news that the ‘late 2016’ hopes of delivering its first product cannot be achieved.

Light’s L16 is planned to replace the need for DSLRs and their complementary, separately bought lenses with a one-stop-shop, camera-within-a-camera product.

Costing $1,700, the device is around the size of a large smartphone, loaded with several lenses – a pretty clever idea in this age of mobile and Instagram.

Referring to “unforeseeable” problems with the production of its ASIC chip – the brains behind the brawn – Light says the delay will allow time for improvements on even its original, eye-catching plans.

Upping its 35-150mm optical zoom to 28-150mm due to consumer demand and doubling internal memory to 256GB are the orders of the day.

The funding from GV (formerly Google Ventures) will help the company scale up its global supply chain which, given the delays, probably could do with some work.

“Since our launch, we have become intimately familiar with the mantra, ‘hardware is hard’,” said the company.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic