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.
Cost: About $22 for the 1.3-megapixel version, $24 for the 2-megapixel version