Liquid lenses with the potential to "enable a new generation of mobile phone cameras, medical imaging equipment ... and possibly even implantable eye lenses" are on their way. So say researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US, who are working with 'liquid pistons' which double up as liquid lenses. The pistons …
This will all end in...
Any company that is worried by "low wear-and-tear" is doing it wrong.
Sure, if you made something that lasts forever, people wouldn't buy as many new ones. Then again, how many computers have you seen that are actually worn out after a year or two? Not many; I still have a computer I got in 2002 that runs just fine. Then again, I've bought several computers since then, because they were upgrades - better than the original.
Food manufacturers can afford to sell the same thing for 20 years, but not technology. You have to innovate, and you have to improve. It's the rules of the game.
Meanwhile - very cool tech. Technology like this is a match made in heaven for camera phones...
not for use in Arid environment :)
Just like in Dune
Frank Herbert got it right in the Dune books with the oil lens...
You beat me to it!
Hmm, low wear and tear?
This is different to the current situation how exactly? When was the last time you had a cameraphone go west 'cos the lens had failed? My experience to date is three where the phone bit gave up, one with a blown screen and one where the camera electronics packed up.
I can't see the manufacturers being put off here, all the unreliable bits that currently force people to buy a new model will still be there....
Mechanical version is already in commercial use...
Eyeglasses with liquid elements to allow adjustable focus have been available for quite a while now: http://www.superfocus.com/The-Superfocus-Technology although how robust they are is a different matter...
An electrically focused variant has a lot of possibilities to small devices like phones, but also potentially for microscopes etc if the quality can be made good enough - removing the need to physically move the lens tube would save a lot of broken slides, especially among novice users in schools.
I saw something like this a few years ago
except it was electrostatically-driven shape changing liquid lenses. Used absolutely tiny amounts of power too. Why did that never find it's way into consumer electronics?
Is this old tech making a comeback?
I seem to recall something similar in he pages of New Scientist or Scientific American a decade or so ago. Anyone else recall this?
Wasn't a similar
idea touted as being the solution to the 3rd worlds eyesight problem as spectacles with proper ground optics were expensive so some company developed water filled lenses and the optical characteristics could be altered by increasimng/decreasing fluid levels??
Or did i just come up with a stunning (it's MINE) idea???
Replacements for spectacles
Although a developed technology, seemingly, further development might find a place to use these as implants to upgrade from the current fixed focal length lenses used in cataract replacement operations. Otherwise I am sure there is a place for these new liquid lenses in inductrial inspection devices and even CCTV applications. These are materials that due to their industrial application are generally highly priced and tend to get upgraded usually due to complete failure or the incapacity for them to be serviced.
Optics, like computers, are everywhere!!!
The rainbow of chromatic aberration and the radial motion blur should make for some wild photos. I don't know whether that's a WIN or FAIL.