Xiaomi Mi MIX is good to be the first mobile device that would feature a liquid lens. The giant manufacturer confirmed the news in its Weibo blog post, saying that this camera device would arrive in a few days.
The lens liquid of the upcoming Xiaomi Mi MIX would have a liquid substance wrapped in a thin film to replace a regular optical lens. On the other, the giant mobile phone manufacturer will have a new motor that will be able to precisely control the shape of the lens. Thanks to this feature, the liquid lens will have super-fast autofocus.
Aside from this, Xiaomi Mi MIX’s camera lens motor could also quickly change the lens focal length. On the other hand, the liquid lens could also easily shift from wide-angle to macro, and even to telephoto. This capability allows the users to have a super-flexible camera phone that uses just one lens instead of the three to four lenses, which are common on the current flagships with photographic aspirations.
The giant manufacturer said that it already developed the liquid lens for its Xiaomi Mi MIX. It added that the new technology “has the characteristics of high light transmittance, ultra-low dispersion, and resistance to extreme environments.”
Xiaomi Mi MIX’s liquid lens
Xiaomi Mi MIX’s liquid lens was previously unveiled by various sources way back in 2004. It was even considered a game-changer for the smartphone market. However, Xiaomi wasn’t the first one to have this kind of idea. The tech giant Philips was the very first pioneer of the unique variable-focus lens system that has no mechanical moving parts.
This liquid lens was designed for various gadgets such as smartphones, digital cameras, endoscopes, home security systems, and optical storage drives. Philips said that this innovation copies the FluidFocus system mimics the action of the human eye using a fluid lens that alters its focal length by changing its shape. The new lens, which lends itself to high volume manufacturing, overcomes the fixed-focus disadvantages of many of today’s low-cost imaging systems.
The tech giant company explained that the new lens for Xiaomi’s upcoming smartphone consists of two immiscible (non-mixing) fluids of different refractive index (optical properties), one an electrically conducting aqueous solution and the other an electrically non-conducting oil, contained in a short tube with transparent end caps.
On the other hand, the lens of the new Mi MIX smartphone also has internal surfaces of the tube wall and one of its end caps are coated with a hydrophobic (water-repellent) coating that causes the aqueous solution to form itself into a hemispherical mass at the opposite end of the tube, where it acts as a spherically curved lens.
The upcoming advanced smartphone’s lens is adjusted by applying an electric field across the hydrophobic coating such that it becomes less hydrophobic – a process called ‘electrowetting’ that results from an electrically induced change in surface tension.
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