Liquid lenses to be used in mobile phones?

Scientists seem to think so

Some interesting research is taking place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, where scientists are looking into liquid lens technology to bring to the photography market.

Unlike other material, liquid is being trialled as it can quickly change focal length without physically having to adjust the lens – unlike glass and plastic which is being used today.

Although, according to Technology Review, liquid lens technology has been researched for decades, a new breakthrough means it may come to the camera market sooner rather than later.

Liquid trials

The scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that by hitting just two drops of water with soundwaves, the change in focal length is sudden, paving the way for the technology to be used in small cameras, like in mobile phones.

At the moment, the resolution isn't good enough to bring to market, but the team is working on different types of liquid to improve the resolution, with the likes of Samsung apparently interested in the technology.


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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.