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Liquid Lens

The Ressence Type 3 watch's fluid-filled display gives its mechanical indications a two-di...

On a regular analog watch, there’s a small pocket of air between the face of the watch and the inside surface of the crystal. On his new Ressence Type 3 watch, however, Belgian designer Benoit Mintiens has filled that space with a clear refractive fluid. As a result, its revolving indications appear to be projected right onto its domed crystal. You could almost think of it as the Magic 8 Ball of high-end timepieces.  Read More

SINTEF's Dag Wang, who is part of a team developing an autofocus lens that mimics the huma...

Mobile phone cameras generally aren't known for their fantastic image quality. One of the reasons for this is the fact that most of them have fixed-focus lenses, as opposed to the autofocus lenses on all but the cheapest stand-alone cameras. The phone cameras partially compensate by using a small aperture to maintain a good depth of field, but this limits their use in low-light situations. Of course, their lenses could automatically focus by moving in and out (like those on larger cameras), but this would draw considerable power from the phones' batteries. Now, however, Norwegian scientists have unveiled a low-power autofocus lens for mobile phone cameras, that works like the human eye.  Read More

The eyeball camera connected to a custom made syringe for varying the  the curvatures of t...

Researchers have used the human eye as inspiration for a new type of camera that boasts the simple lens system of the eye, but features the variable zoom capability of a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera without the bulk and weight of a complex lens system. As a result, the “eyeball camera” measures less than an inch in diameter, is inexpensive to make and should be suited to a variety of applications, including night-vision surveillance, robotic vision systems, endoscopic imaging and consumer electronics.  Read More

The liquid pistons are comprised of droplets of nanoparticle-infused ferrofluids (Image: R...

Researchers at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute have developed "liquid pistons" that could be suited to a variety of applications. Using electromagnets the liquid pistons, which are highly tunable, scalable and have no solid moving parts, can function as pumps for lab-on-a-chip systems or could be used for adaptive lenses in future mobile phone cameras and implantable lenses.  Read More

Samsung's design for a liquid zoom lens uses two liquid lenses stacked together (Image: fr...

Samsung has filed a patent for a new type of liquid lens that provides not only autofocus capability, but also true optical zoom capability. Liquid lenses, with their small form factor and lack of motors or moving parts, are ideal for use in compact cameras, phones, and other mobile devices. Where a conventional liquid lens may provide only autofocus, Samsung’s design uses two separately controllable liquid lenses in a single array to provide both functions.  Read More

Liquid lens mimics the human eye

August 19, 2005 Taking a leaf from Mother Nature, scientists at A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) in Singapore have developed tiny lenses made of liquid, which mimics the action of the human eye. The liquid lens system has optical zooming abilities and uses only a fraction of the space of most conventional lenses. It alters its focal length by changing its shape. The lens promises optical zoom functionality for the next generation of camera phones and other compact hand-held devices. We have reported previously on similar functionality shown by Philips at CEBIT 2004.  Read More

Liquid zoom lenses to be available in camera phones before the end of 2005

April 9, 2005: One of the factors inhibiting the mass adoption of zoom lenses in mobile phones is the size and cost of a mechanical zoom. Though Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Casio et al continue to astound us with their ability to further reduce the size of their products, the next major breakthrough in zoom lens miniaturisation will be electrowetting , a technology that enables multiple liquid lenses to combine into a zoom lens, offering significant reductions in size, cost, weight and power consumption.  Read More

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