Lytro -- photos of toddlers/kids
"Is it to some extent a great solution, in search of a problem?"
Good point, Don. I like mine because it's challenging, not because it takes great images. It's been described as a proof of concept and that's probably true. It might have the same appeal as the pinhole camera does to some people or the guy who shot a movie with his iPhone to show that it can be done. Lots of people are commenting how to improve the camera, but I believe that these (Lytro) people are very smart and they know how to make the camera better (and more expensive). As a first product, they can sell a lot more $400 cameras than $1200 cameras.
I hike a lot and revisit the same areas (I live on an island) so I currently carry and use the Lytro a lot more than my better traditional cameras. If I were traveling to somewhere new, the Lytro would be my second or third camera, not my primary.
The technology has now been shown to be feasible in a consumer product, so I doubt if it will go away. Maybe once they release their wiggle 3D viewer it will have more appeal to that part of the market.