Smartphones are getting even more impressive when it comes to their technology and this latest innovation from Xiaomi pretty much underscores that trend.
The Chinese smartphone giant is reporting that it will be making a liquid lens available in its future Mi Mix device. Rather than using mechanical elements, a liquid lens can change the focus, as the name implies, via a liquid medium. Because of the elimination of mechanical movements, this kind of lens has a few advantages for photographers. Of course, the concept itself is nothing new, but no one has ever seen this kind of thing on a smartphone before so here we are.
Edmund Optics explains:
“Like traditional optical lenses made from glass, liquid lenses are single optical elements but are composed of an optical liquid material that can change its shape. The focal length of a glass lens is dependent on the material it is made from and its radius of curvature. The same basic principle applies to liquid lenses, though liquid lenses are unique in that their focal length is alterable by changing the radius of curvature. This change in radius is electronically controlled and rapidly changed on the order of milliseconds. Manufacturers use electrowetting, shape-changing polymers, and acusto-optical tuning methods to control the liquid lens's radius of curvature and refractive index.”
Xiaomi even released a video for the new smartphone over on YouTube.
As PetaPixel points out, and as we have covered here, Xiaomi isn’t shy about trying out new and novel technologies but simply putting something out into the market is a wholly different matter than making it succeed there.
Like we noted earlier in the article, it’s just further evidence of just how far smartphones have come – and how seriously manufacturers take them as optical devices.
Do you use a Xiaomi smartphone? What do you think of a liquid lens concept for smartphones? Let us know your thoughts on Xiaomi’s latest project in the comments section below.
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