Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have designed and tested an adaptive liquid lens that captures 250 pictures per second and requires considerably less energy to operate than competing technologies. The lens is made up of a pair of water droplets, which vibrate back and forth upon exposure to a high-frequency sound, and in turn change the focus of the lens. By using imaging software to automatically capture in-focus frames and discard any out of focus frames, the researchers can create streaming images from lightweight, low-cost, high-fidelity miniature cameras.
Most current methods for manipulating liquid lenses involve changing the size and shape of the area where the liquid contacts a surface, in order to bring an image into focus. This takes both time and valuable energy.