A French firm has invented a novel liquid lens and has developed a semi-automated pilot production line to produce prototypes of the same.

The liquid lenses themselves, developed by Varioptic, use two liquids - one is an insulator while the other is a conductor. The variation of an applied voltage leads to a change of curvature at the liquid-liquid interface, which in turn leads to a change of the focal length of the lens.

The company says that prototypes of its new lenses are much in demand from makers of camera modules.

“The manufacturing process we have designed has enabled us automate the critical stages of production and so supply our partners with reliable products. (Through our pilot line) we have proved that we can meet high-volume production needs,” said Varioptic’s Vice President of Engineering Jean-Jacques Louart.

Varioptic, which is venture-backed by Sofinnova Partners, PolyTechnos Ventures and NIF Partners, was founded in 2002.