look, ma – no hands …

Toronto. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a zoom lens was invented with the zoom controlled by electricity? Smartphone could off these tiny marvels and a light finger motion could shift the tiny zoom lens’s focal length.

PHSC member and friend Russ Forfar sent me this intriguing article from Science Daily from Cornell and published June 10th, 2021, “Novel liquid crystal metalens offers electric zoom“. Cornell researchers collaborated with Samsung on this project. The technique was initially seen as a design for “augmented reality glasses” where saving space and weight is a priority.

The above thumbnail is from an article on the MDPI website title “Miniaturized Metalens Based Optical Tweezers on Liquid Crystal Droplets for Lab-on-a-Chip Optical Motors“.

While these articles discuss experimental ideas, the result may well be common place articles in a decade or two and history in another half century. Even forty years ago, the late Douglas Adams in his “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” predicted a pocket sized electronic encyclopedia. Today, such ereaders  are common place containing hundreds of books (my iPod Touch is an example).

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