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New Camera Lens Works Like Human Eye

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Philips Electronics said on Thursday it had invented a tiny digital camera lens to fit inside a mobile phone that could focus on objects and create sharp pictures in ways that are similar to the human eye.

Unlike high-end digital cameras, the new lens does not require mechanical moving parts because it works by manipulating two fluids in a tiny transparent tube.

Philips said it will build a production line for the three millimeter lenses that are aimed at low-cost imaging products, such as digital cameras that fit inside a mobile phone or a home security system.

By charging the sides of the tube with an small electric current, one of the two fluids is drawn to the edges while the other fluid fills up the remaining space in the tube. The place where the two fluids meet, functions like a lens.

By changing the current, this lens can be shaped hollow, curvex or anything in between, so that it can focus on objects far away or as close as five centimeters.

The lens, on show at the CeBIT electronic trade fair in Hanover, Germany in two weeks time, is the first of its kind and the technology has been patented, Philips said.

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