Xiaomi is one of the main mobile manufacturers in the world, and one of the most popular brands in Spain. The Chinese company stands out for launching products with good value for money, but also for being a pioneer in some technologies such as the launch of its transparent television. Now they have gone one step further and created liquid lenses that seek to revolutionize mobile photography.
After a few days in which the firm has confirmed its electric car and has presented a wide range of products, such as its new laptop and mobile phones from the Mi 11 series; Xiaomi has also released the world’s first smartphone to debut liquid lens technology: the Mi Mix Fold.
The Mi Mix Fold also has the privilege of being the first folding mobile of the Chinese manufacturer. But What exactly does this smartphone include liquid chambers? A technology that Xiaomi has been working on for some time and that promises to surprise and revolutionize the telephony sector.
Like the human eye
Liquid lenses use the principle of bionics of the human eye, forming a lens-like structure with a transparent fluid wrapped in a film. Something very different from traditional optical lenses. That is, the same lens is capable of focusing the closest and most distant objects according to need.
It does so thanks to a high-precision motor based on the technology developed by Xiaomi, which allows changing the radius of curvature of the spherical surface of the lens can be modified. This achieves a 3X optical zoom, a telephoto lens of up to 30X and a minimum focusing distance of 3 centimeters. Therefore, in this way, a single lens practically covers the functions of several lenses.
In general, mobiles already have several cameras on the back. The new iPhone 12 Pro have three, but other models like the Galaxy S21 Ultra go up to all four lenses. Each one with a sensor and a lens for different needs, like a wide angle to capture a photo of a landscape or a telephoto for details. Nevertheless, Xiaomi’s new liquid lens is capable of doing everything on its own, so the current sensors could be replaced by one of these.
Likewise, thanks to the liquid lens, a high transmittance (the amount of energy that passes through a body) of light, an ultra-low dispersion and “excellent” resistance to extreme environments. In fact, the company itself has ensured that the liquid lens can maintain that fluidity in environments from -40 ° C to 60 ° C, ensuring stable, long-lasting and high-quality optics.
A drop of water
This novel technology had been used until now in some industrial processes and stands out for eliminating any mechanical part inside a chamber. This time, it is a drop of water placed on a sheet of conductive material, which can alter its shape under a small electrical stimulus and change its focal length without the need for moving mechanical parts. A process that happens in a few milliseconds.
Another of the main characteristics of liquid lenses is that they are faster and smaller than conventional ones, allowing manufacturers to save valuable space within the mobile phone. With no mechanical parts to damage, this new type of lens is even more shock resistant and can take millions of photos without wearing out.
Using liquid lenses also offers other advantages over traditional ones, such as a more compact camera module, better focus, lighter phones and brighter photos. If Xiaomi’s new technology delivers on its promise, its arrival it will mean a great technological change when taking photos with a mobile camera.