A new self-focusing webcam is the first consumer product with a liquid lens. The lens, from the French company Varioptic, consists of an oil-based and a water-based fluid sandwiched between glass discs in a drum the size of a watch battery. An electric charge causes the boundary between the oil and water to change shape, altering the lens’s focus. Because the lens has no moving parts, it’s more durable than other lenses of similar size.
Courtesy of Akkord
Cost: About $22 for the 1.3-megapixel version, $24 for the 2-megapixel version
Other products in this section:
Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.Subscribe today
How DARPA Took On the Twitter Bot Menace with One Hand Behind Its Back
When DARPA ran a competition to find Twitter bots designed to influence online debates, it inspired a new generation of anti-bot strategies.
How One Intelligent Machine Learned to Recognize Human Emotions
Nobody knew how to identify people’s emotional states by looking at their brain waves. Then a machine learning algorithm stepped in.
How an AI Algorithm Learned to Write Political Speeches
Political speeches are often written for politicians by trusted aides and confidantes. Could an AI algorithm do as well?