Liquid Lens Patent by Canon (and video)
Ever heard about liquid lenses? It may be the next big thing in optical engineering. Basically, liquid lenses work by applying an electric voltage to an electrolytic solution (that’s the liquid) in order to curve its surface (called meniscus). You probably are already thinking: Hey, that means no moving parts! And you are right. 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. Just one quick note: Not having a motor means they need less electrical power, and that means the battery charge will last longer. There is a 10 minutes video at the end of the post that explains the technology. Fun to watch and good examples. Ok, let’s see the patent (it was very tiring to read :-)).