This lens sheds a tear

According to an article on The Register, camera phones will soon have lenses made from nothing more than drops of oil and water.

And you think you'll be the one crying when Junior takes his first steps. Point that new camera phone at the little toddler and it may be misty-eyed, too.

According to an article on The Register, camera phones will soon have lenses made from nothing more than drops of oil and water, but they'll still be able to auto-focus, and even zoom in for a close-up of Junior marching around the living room.

The lenses, developed by French company Varioptic, contain drops of oil and water, sandwiched between two windows, that act respectively as conductor and insulator. These liquid lenses could replace glass or plastic ones because of several advantages: no moving parts (leading to better reliability); very low power consumption; very small dimensions (diameter: 8 mm; thickness: 2 mm); and a speedy response time of 2/100th of a second.

Expect to see the first camera phones using the liquid lenses as early as the 2005 holiday season. The lenses might also appear in medical equipment such as endoscopes, as well as optical networking equipment or surveillance devices.

By that time, Junior will be almost ready for kindergarten.

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Tech Culture
About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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