Lytro has opened its doors to outside companies with a Lytro Development Kit (LDK), giving the likes of NASA and the Department of Defense - two of its first customers - access to its light field technology hardware and software. This is part of its Lytro Platform, and it starts at $20,000 USD.

According to Lytro, the goal is to provide other companies with the ability to develop custom light field cameras for use across many industries. 'It paves the path for deeper partnerships with technical R&D teams and enterprise in new undiscovered scientific territories,' says the maker. Customers are provided with a kit containing both hardware and software.

The Lytro Development Kit features a 41MP Toshiba sensor, C-mount f/2.0 lens, prototyping board, and a focal plane shutter, among other things. Numerous on-camera and desktop scripts (RAW Process, continuous capture, exposure bracketing, etc.) and Lytro's desktop tools are also provided. The LDK is offered with an annual subscription, and prices start at $20,000.

Lytro is kicking off the launch of its platform with four partners, but hasn't revealed all of them yet. It will be bringing in other customers, as well, but for now it seems NASA and the DoD are taking the helm, with the space agency aiming to use light field camera technology in space and the government looking into boosting its night vision capabilities.