As stated by Cognex, “The liquid lens module is an electronically controllable variable focus system.
Cognex was the first company to leverage liquid lens technology within both fixed-mount and handheld industrial barcode readers.
The liquid lens uses two iso-density liquids, oil as an insulator and water as 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 installed optical lens.”
This is a diagram of a liquid lens set-up:
There are also some key advantages to using liquid lenses:
- “Very fast image capture
- Very fast Auto Focus mode (non sequential algorithms)
- Capture of multiple images at different focus positions, for objects from infinity to a few cm
- Reconstruction of a 3D map from captured depth information
- Correction of handshake movements in real time
(List/Picture Source: http://www.varioptic.com/technology/applications-configurations/)
As soon as I saw the term “liquid lens,” I was intrigued. Digital cameras are very expensive pieces of equipment, and the elements that make up these cameras are also pricey. The lens of a camera is a liability when travelling and transporting due to it being made of breakable material. However, with a liquid lens, there would be less risk when using the camera or moving it from place to place. I am looking forward to seeing how much more attention this innovation receives.