Friday, June 10, 2011

Optilux-Varioptic Separation Explained

CNET published an article on Optilux founded by former Varioptic's CEO Hamid Farzaneh. "Farzaneh has an exclusive license to use the Varioptic technology in consumer products, and funding to develop a manufacturing process to scale up to consumer product run-rates (Varioptic can ship about 100,000 lenses a month, a far cry from the millions that Farzaneh thinks the market will want). Over time, as the new company digs into the consumer market, Optilux technology will diverge from Varioptic.

Optilux is an American company; Varioptic and its acquirer Parrot are both French.
[Farzaneh is planning] to set up both R&D and manufacturing in the U.S.

Farzaneh said that having manufacturing next door to U.S. engineers will keep development moving faster. Finally, he says, he needs an automated system for high-volume production, and automated plants are easier to set up next to U.S.-based engineers, compared with the current liquid lens construction techniques, which are based on hand-assembled lenses that benefit from lower (overseas) labor costs.

The timing of all this: We should, Farzaneh says, finally start seeing Optilux liquid lenses in cameras in 2013. These will be the auto-focusing and image-stabilized lenses. The zoom packages could show up in consumer products in 2014.

The original article also has a nice video demo of Optlux focus and image stabilization capabilities.

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