Here's a picture of the actual liquid lens technology that French start-up Varioptic has sold to Samsung. These little discs will add a 3x optical zoom and true autofocus abilities to cameraphones while remaining suitably rugged for use in a knockabout phone. Phones using the technology aren't expected to hit the market until 2006 at the earliest, unfortunately. And while I hate to rub rivalries wrong, The Register had a good story earlier this month about how the lenses actually work.
Variable optics the cure for cameraphones? [TheInquirer]