In place of glass lenses that move in order to focus, liquid optics uses a drop of water that changes shape when an electric charge is applied. The system is smaller and cheaper than glass and can supposedly focus faster. The tech recently appeared in the Akkord SnakeCam, a webcam sold in China. We brought one stateside and pitted it against two versions with glass lenses.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.