Electronic lens inspired by the human eye could revolutionize phone cameras

Electronic lens inspired by the human eye could revolutionize phone cameras
(Image credit: Alan She/ Harvard SEAS)

Phone camera technology is already exceedingly impressive, but a new scientific development is set to launch us firmly into Back to the Future territory. A team of researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created a flat, electronically controlled lens that functions like the human eye by combining recent developments in artificial muscle and flat lens technologies.

Capable of focusing in real-time and approximately one centimeter in diameter, this lens can even go beyond the limitations of the human eye by adjusting for astigmatism and image shift. 

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.