The upcoming Mi Mix phone from Xiaomi includes a camera with a liquid lens, and the company has sought this feature through Publications Within the Chinese blogging platform Weibo.
The lens was developed internally, and is supposed to simulate how the human eye works and how it instantly focuses on objects at various distances.
As the name suggests, the lens usually includes a layer of liquid, and the lens focus and focal length are changed by applying an electrical voltage.
Xiaomi says: The lens allows a single camera to take charge of everything from close-up to macro shots in addition to providing fast autofocus, and the phone is scheduled to be unveiled on March 29.
Xiaomi calls this technology Bionic Photography, and it is basically a transparent liquid wrapped in an ultra-thin film that can change the curvature of the lens to achieve rapid refocusing and reduce distortion.
According to the official publication from the company, this liquid has high light transmittance, very low dispersion and is very resistant to environmental factors.
Liquid lenses have been around for several years, but they are usually found in industrial applications where traditional lenses with moving mechanical parts may wear out very quickly, but their small size and versatility make them an attractive opportunity for smartphones.
In theory, a single camera with a liquid lens could combine the multiple cameras found on the back of most flagship smartphones.
In addition to Xiaomi, there were rumors last year that Huawei was also exploring the use of technology in its smartphones.
And the liquid lens looks suitable for Xiaomi’s Mi Mix line, which has featured some pretty experimental designs over the years.
In 2018, Mi Mix 3 was one of the first phones to introduce a mechanical sliding camera for selfies, and the following year, Mi Mix Alpha was introduced, which had a screen wrapped around almost the entire device.