Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Optics: Liquid camera lens, no moving parts, now with zoom

New Scientist has an article on a different type of camera lens - it isn't made of glass or plastic, but instead uses the boundary of an oily liquid and water, which can be shaped by an electrical voltage to different amounts of curvature. Liquid lenses are used in some mass market products. The twist here is the ability to zoom. This latest research development still has some issues that need to be worked out if it is to supplant existing commercial technologies for the mass market (i.e. cheap, plastic lenses), but the principle seems to be sound. That bodes well for it finding at least a niche problem to solve.

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