China-based smartphone vendor Xiaomi revealed through Weibo and YouTube postings Thursday that a forthcoming Mi Mix smartphone will include an innovative new “liquid” lens element.

The company said in a Weibo post that the lens technology was “self-developed” to provide macro and telephoto focusing and focal length functions to coexist.

Liquid lens technologies have been introduced already, but these have been used primarily for industrial applications.

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“The lens-like liquid structure can precisely control the shape of the liquid spherical surface through a motor to achieve precise and rapid focusing,” Xiaomi’s text post states. “At the same time, it has the characteristics of high light transmittance, ultra-low dispersion and resistance to extreme environments.”

The liquid lens element is manipulated using electrical voltage to change shape for designed focus and focal length. Auto focusing is said to be rapid.

This will enable a single camera module to replace multiple modules camera modules in other phones.

“It is believed that this will be the new direction of mobile phone imaging in the future, and the details are shown in the long picture,” the company said. The Mi Mix phone is expected to be formally unveiled on March 29th.

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By Greg Tarr

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