New liquid lenses promises better pictures, no red splodge

16arctic416 Press release: Varioptic, the liquid lens company, today announced that it has developed its first liquid lens, A316S, offering Optical Image Stabilization functionality to mobile phones.

Varioptic is the world leader in liquid lenses having pioneered the development of Electrowetting Technology to create variable focus lenses with no moving parts. Liquid lenses are used in a wide range of imaging applications from industrial vision to consumer cameras, and feature a number of advantages over traditional focusing technologies in terms of robustness, power consumption, size, cost and speed. Varioptic’s Autofocus (AF) liquid lenses are used in consumer, medical and industrial devices ranging from full HD DV camcorders, bar code readers, security cameras, dental cameras to machine vision cameras. Liquid lenses have been in production since January 2007 and more recently, ramping mass production, with Japanese partner Seiko Instruments Inc. (SII).

Varioptic has now finalized the next generation of Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) liquid lenses, correcting handshake. Today’s camera phones deliver relatively poor image capture indoor with a frustrating handshake blur. The new Varioptic liquid lens OIS functionality, A316S, compensates this defect, restoring an image quality comparable to a compact digital still camera (DSC).

With no moving parts, the new liquid lens, A316S, is very robust and uses very limited power (less than 50mW during a shot). The A316S liquid lens actuator, featuring both OIS and silent/smooth AF, is able to fit in typical AF camera module size.

“This unique OIS technology, developed by Varioptic, will enable our customers to integrate liquid lenses in camera phones in early 2011, accelerating Varioptic’s growth” stated Christian Dupont, Varioptic CEO. “Liquid lenses with Optical Image Stabilization will enable mobile users to take good pictures even in low light conditions as well as capturing stable and focused videos with their mobile phone. The next generations of camera phones will become comparable to digital still cameras and camcorders, while remaining compact and robust", added Christian Dupont.

Low light indoor photography and stabilized video capture will be demonstrated during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 15th to 18th February 2010. OIS developer’s kits and samples of the new A316S liquid lenses are available upon request.

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