Liquid lenses coming to webcams near you

For the “extremely small camera” sector, this could be a real boon. These liquid lenses are fixed in place within the camera, manipulated using electricity, and — well, I’ll let Varioptic explain it:

It works much like the human eye, using electricity to alter the shape of two drops of liquid, to bend light, alter focus, and produce a miniature, yet powerful (multi-megapixel) lens for a variety of applications

Yes, that sounds exactly like the human eye. But joking aside, this is a really cool idea and considering the continual need to shrink lenses and how crappy most tiny fixed lenses are, it may actually find some real traction. That they can make it work in a fast autofocus situation like a webcam is promising. It always takes some doing to displace a product on the market (especially one with as much inertia as the glass lens) but it’s always worthwhile to try. I hope I get to see one of these little things perform soon.