Despite their ubiquity, cell phones are not known for their ability to take picture-perfect photos. But budding “liquid lens” technology promises to change that by providing phone photogs with the autofocus capabilities lacking in today’s cellular optics.
The latest advance in this area comes from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, here, where researchers have developed a liquid lens by placing a few drops of water into a cylindrical hole drilled in a Teflon surface and using a small speaker (that plays a high-frequency sound) to provide the resonance needed to move the water back and forth, changing the focus of the lens. Light passing through the droplets transforms them into a mini camera lens, which is capped on both sides with plastic or glass.
The experiment, led by Amir Hirsa, associate chief of graduate studies in the school’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, used the liquid lens to capture 250 images per second. – sciam