Varioptic Liquid Lens For Phone Cameras

Varioptic and Sunny Optics announced last week that they were making the Varioptic Arctic 416 autofocus oil and water lens available in high-end camera phones. The oil and water lens, which has no moving parts, replaces traditional mechanical lens focusing systems.


(Oil and water lens uses electrowetting)

The Varioptic oil and water lens uses a phenomenon called "electrowetting" to focus the system. A water droplet is deposited on a metal substrate covered by an insulating layer. The voltage applied to the substrate modifies the contact angle of the droplet. A liquid lens uses two liquids with the same density; one is an insulator while the other is a conductor. The variation of voltage leads to a change of curvature of the liquid-liquid interface, which in turn leads to a change of the focal length of the lens.

Liquid lenses have many advantages over their mechanical counterparts, including ruggedness (no moving parts), faster response, excellent optical quality, wide operating temperature range and very low energy consumption (ideal for small mobile devices).

Science fiction fans have been waiting for this since Frank Herbert wrote about oil lenses in his 1964 classic Dune:

Paul lay ... in a slit of rock high on the shield wall rim, eye fixed to the collector of a Fremen telescope. The oil lens was focused on a starship lighter exposed by dawn in the basin below them.
(Read more about oil lens from Dune)

Philips is also working on this technology (there may be some patent fights involved); see Philips FluidFocus: Variable Focus Fluid Lens. Varioptic is ramping up production in (where else) Shanghai and expects to produce 100,000 lenses per month in addition to the production in its plant in Lyon, France. Read more in the 2MP Autofocus Camera Module with Varioptic Liquid Lens press release and Varioptic comes into focus with liquid phone camera lenses.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/18/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Tiny LEDs Developed For Dust-Sized Computers
'They use sparkles to talk to each other...' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.' - HG Winters, 1939.

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...' - Isaac Asimov, 1965.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.