Scientists say they have developed technology that could make camera lenses lighter and require only a fraction of the battery power demanded by today?s digital cameras and smartphones.

Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the United States have developed ?liquid pistons? which can also serve as liquid lenses – vibrating at high speeds and moving in and out of focus as they change shape in response to changes in magnetic fields.

The lens automatically changes focal length as the droplets move back and forth.

The oscillating droplets of ferrofluid precisely replace a surrounding liquid, explains the research team led by Professor Amir H Hirsa.

?These liquid pistons could enable a new generation of mobile phone cameras, medical imaging equipment? and possibly even implantable eye lenses.

?The study demonstrates how droplets can function as liquid lenses that constantly move, bringing objects into and out of focus? As the droplets vibrate, their shape is always changing. By passing light through these droplets, the device is transformed into a miniature camera lens.?

And as the lenses contain no solid moving parts they will not suffer wear and tear, add the researchers in their study called ?Electromagnetic liquid pistons for capillarity-based pumping?.

For details visit the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute website.