Canon Patent For Liquid Optical Elements (liquid lens)

liquid lens

Liquid optical element

liquid lens liquid lens

Figure above: When electricity is applied the optical element gets a shape.

Another Canon patent spotted by Egami (translated).

Liquid lenses have a series of advantages over traditional lenses. Beside not having moving parts (and thus less mechanical parts), they respond quicker to electrical signals, they do not have a motor (you thought that USM was the big thing? Think again) and they are naturally much more silent. The lack of a motor also means such a lens needs less electrical power, hence the battery lasts longer. Liquid lenses are most likely going to be employed in compact cameras and/or smartphones. If you want a more scientific description about what liquid lenses are and do, I recommend this article.

It is not the first time Canon files a patent for a liquid lens (and yes, I shamelessly recycled some of the text of my previous post :-) ).

Patent description (machine translated):

  • Patent Publication No. 2013-101227
    • Publication date 2013.5.23
    • Filing date 2011.11.9
  • Canon patent
    • I drive a plurality of pumps
    • Drive pump liquid optical element to hold the end of the interface
    • When applied to the electrodes, electrowetting phenomenon in which the liquid moves to the interface from the drive pump occurs
    • Optical properties are changed by the movement of the liquid
    • By discretely and independently controlled and a voltage, enabling high-speed drive

[via Egami]

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