Liquid lenses have been around for some time. Varioptic applies a voltage to a lens made of water and oil to change the optical properties and achieve focus or zoom. The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute created a new optical system using a liquid lens and a small speaker. Instead of applying a voltage, they apply sound to move the water droplets to achieve a focusing effect.

Varioptic hasn’t really made an impact on the camera module market yet. Will Rensselaer’s technique finally bring liquid lenses into mass production?