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(Pocket-lint) - Lytro, the name behind light field photography, has just generously dished out all its tech to everyone, by becoming open source.

This means anyone can now use the Illum camera and first-gen camera smarts to create anything their imaginations allow. This includes virtual reality capture for 3D viewing on the likes of Google Cardboard or Samsung's Gear VR headsets.

Lytro works by capturing each light ray's direction, colour and intensity. The result are photos that can be manipulated after they're taken. This level of creative control could allow artists, developers and researchers to find new ways of using photography.

Lytro has always had a lot of potential but it's only now, as everyone gets involved, that it could become something more than clever hardware coupled with smart software.

The Lytro Power Tools Beta software is available now to anyone wishing to take part. You'll need a Lytro camera, some command line tool knowledge and a fairly decent Windows PC.

One cool example of Lytro in use is in the video below, showing a time lapse. Time speeds along as the colour bleeds into black and white as the ice cream melts. And this is just the start for Lytro's new open source life.

READ: Lytro camera pictures and hands-on

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Writing by Luke Edwards.