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Wednesday, Aug 17, 2005

New patented lens made of liquid paves way for slimmer digital cameras

Category: News

Fluidlens liquid lens systemNamed Fluidlens, this lens is made of liquid and is no bigger than a contact lens, but can achieve an optical zoom of up to 10 times, matching the zoom capabilities of lenses found on mid-range and high-end digital cameras and superior than most cellphone cameras which use digital zoom that relies on software rather than the lens to zoom in on an object.

This liquid lens system achieves optical zooming through altering its focal length by changing its shape which mimics the action of the human eye.

“Currently there is no practical alternative to compensate for the fixed focus lens system where a camera lens, for example, is moved along a linear axis until the image comes into focus. Our liquid lens, on the other hand, comprises only a droplet and no other cumbersome movable parts,” explains Dr Saman Dharmatilleke, a research scientist working on the technology.

 Fluidlens liquid lens system To date, research in other liquid lenses involves using an applied electrical voltage to alter the curvature of the lens so that it can focus and zoom in on an image. Patented Fluidlens does not need this, which means it saves on battery consumption, is cheaper to manufacture and occupies less space in the device.

Singapore-based A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) who developed and patented this new liquid lens has licensed the technology to electronics manufacturer, PGS Precision, for an undisclosed sum. The manufacturer expects production cost of Fluidlens to be 20 per cent cheaper than conventional lenses.

PGS Precision will run field tests over the next 18 months and is currently in talks with cellphone makers. It expects to make 10 million lenses a year after tests are completed.

Fluidlens will enable digital camera and camera cellphone makers to create slimmer, better-featured devices with longer battery-life.

Schematic of the liquid lens device and its different modes:
 Fluidlens liquid lens system
 Fluidlens liquid lens system
 Fluidlens liquid lens system

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12 Comments:

  1. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Yix In The Mix says:

    Lentes líquidas para cámaras!!

    New patented lens made of liquid paves way for slimmer digital cameras
    Named Fluidlens, this lens is made of liquid and is no bigger than a contact lens, but can achieve an optical zoom of up to 10 times, matching the zoom capabilities of lenses foun…


  2. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    TheRealCorsican says:

    Seems like this is a good start on an implant which could replace a defective or damaged lens in the eye (as long as the retina and optic nerve are intact, of course).

    Also, I was reminded of the “oil lenses” dreamed up by Frank Herbert…


  3. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Chadwick Ferguson says:

    Is this only for phone cameras or will this technology be adapted to regular cameras? I would want to hold off for something like this!


  4. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Fotografía Digital says:

    Lentes Líquidos para cámaras digitales

    A través de 101 reviews veo un nuevo “invento” para las cámaras digitales que promete lograr mucha mejor calidad en mucho menor espacio.
    Básicamente trabajan con presión sobre el lente y dicen que “no es mas ancho que un lente d…


  5. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Henk Zwaenepoel says:

    I don’t see why lens-deforming using
    voltage would be inferior to this new
    method. This new method will need to
    pump gas or liquid into and out of the
    lens. Or is power consumption then so
    much less using pumps instead of voltage ?


  6. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Peter Trei says:

    This should not have been issued a patent.

    I can remember seeing almost exactly this
    technique being demonstrated on the BBC
    show ‘Tommorrows World’ back in the mid
    70’s, wherein a fluid filled plastic lens
    changed shape with fluid pressure. This was
    used to make variable focus eye-glasses.

    I suspect they were too heavy to be a commercial
    success, but the idea was out there.


  7. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Gadget News says:

    Fluidlens Liquid Lens Leads To Thinner Digital Cameras

    DigitaCamera @ 101 Reviews has some interesting news about a new form of camera lens. The Fluidlens is, as the name suggests, made of liquid and si no bigger than a contact lens. What makes it particularly interesting though is that it can manage an op…


  8. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Ali B says:

    Great…

    At last we’ll have some phones with good quality cameras..


  9. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Dan Lowe says:

    Henk Zwaenepoel says:
    I don’t see why lens-deforming using
    voltage would be inferior to this new
    method. This new method will need to
    pump gas or liquid into and out of the
    lens. Or is power consumption then so
    much less using pumps instead of voltage ?

    But if you use applied voltage, you have to maintain that voltage against the material to keep it in the desired shape, yes? But one could conceive of a pump system where you apply voltage to the problem in one way or another to move into the desired shape, then the mechanism could simply be designed to lock into place when voltage is removed. So you are then only using power when you change from one shape state to another, and the rest of the time you are not using any power to maintain that shape.


  10. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    James Lee says:

    Cameras using a new technology called wavefront coding CDM OPTICS made by Omnivision Technologies
    will be coming to the market in the first half of 2006.
    http://www.ovt.com/
    http://www.cdm-optics.com/site/news.php
    I would value your opinion on whether this technology is superior or inferior to fluid lens technology.


  11. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Chris says:

    Macro lenses are a thing of beauty. If you’ve never seen some pictures between a quality lens, and a quality macro lens, you should check out a good article here: (disclaimer: I wrote it)

    60mm Nikon Micro review .

    Just look at the Christmas bulb pic for a great example. These are regular glass lenses, but it would be great to have a lighter easier to tote version on my phone :)


  12. Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/views101/public_html/digitalcamera/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    vickiho.com » Aside: liquid lens says:

    […] yeah! hooray for singapore’s A*STAR institute, which developed and patented a new liquid lens for digital cameras. Possibly related posts: back to oddcamsHo Chi Minh Next WeekPre-Trip (Un)Necesseties […]

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