Amazing, but true. A patent registered in the United States by Sony describes the characteristics of a new image sensor capable of moving on the Z axis (back and forth) so that, in this way, the autofocus with manual lenses.
The possibility of modifying the registration distance thus also has other advantages. The most obvious is that this sensor should allow the manufacture of objectives with a simpler architecture, and possibly with more image quality, that would also be cheaper.
Another additional advantage is the possibility of modifying the distance record, which is that between the focal plane of the mount ring in which we set the objective, will allow a hypothetical camera that uses this sensor adapt on the fly to ideally suited for each goal to, well, to capture images with the maximum possible sharpness.
If you look at the picture you have under this paragraph iniatives that the really complex in this sensor is not the sensor itself, but platform that supports it and it’s really that makes possible their displacement. In principle what worries me a bit is that this mechanism seems voluminous, which could cause the body of the cameras that use it to grow. But it is only a guess. We will offer more details as they become available.