Thursday, December 17, 2020

Corning-Varioptics Liquid Lens Extends Iris Recognition Distance to Several Meters

Corning publishes a white paper "Improving iris recognition with liquid lens technology." The main highlights are:

  • Liquid lens-based AF allow the optical system to maximize the sharpness of an image. This compact, low-cost, and low-power solution extends the iris reading distance from a few millimeters to several meters.
  • COVID-19 has escalated the already growing demand for non-contact identification systems.
  • Liquid lenses possess a fast response time, as low as 10 ms. This feature enables auto-focus and continuous focus for biometric applications.


  1. Polight from Norway has developed a lense called TLens. It is already used in 2 children watches and in one Scan Engine. Numerous companies have tanken patents including TLens in many segment. TLens is replicating the human eye, has AF very Low powerconsumption,nnot being influenced by magnetics or shocks and a responsetime of abt. 1 microsecond. TLens will grab large markets in the future and will establish New standards in all segment!

    1. I've been following Polight for a while, and here are some facts...

      What is interesting about public companies, is that they cant' really distort reality, unlike most startups that can sell hope without disclosing their numbers.

      2019 revenue - approx $350k
      2019 "profit" - approx -$9M (minus here means loss)
      Q3 2020 Year-To-Date revenue - approx $210k
      Q3 2020 Year-To-Date "profit"- approx -$3.5M (loss too)

      Quote from the last quarterly report: "after the Covid-19 Pandemic commenced at the start of the year, no purchase orders have been received from the smartphone watches released in January. The Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on sales of smartphone watches using Polight's Tlens in the first nine months of 2020. It could potentially have negative impact on sales throughout the year."

      I don't know how you understand that quote and the 2019/0020 revenue, but for me it looks like the smartwatch is not selling at all...

      Finally, there is a typo in the response time - the response time is not microsecond, but according to their website "Response time down to <1ms"; which as an engineer I understand this means that it is < 1ms in the best case and >1ms most of the time.
      Link to the product page

      There is of course "only" a factor of 1000 between ┬Ás and ms...

      I believe as engineers, we should always check for facts, and not for the BS that we usually hear/read all the time.

  2. I saw that a new liquid lens from Corning Varioptic has 75 diopters of optical power range and another has a clear aperture of 5.8mm. Theses two features are super exciting for application that require close focus and/or significant light input such as iris recognition. How would your lens compare to that?


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