PetaPixel

Tiny Lens Attachment Turns Smartphones Into Microscopes

MicroLensiPhone_1

We’ve seen mobile phone lens attachments and hacks that help you to take macro photos with your smartphone, but never before have we seen one that helps capture micro images.

Aptly called the Micro Phone Lens, this little tool, currently being crowd funded on Kickstarter, allows you to capture images at 150x magnification using nothing more than that little computer in your pocket.

Prototype Micro Lens on the left, and a $2,224 microscope with $499 camera attachment on the right

Prototype Micro Lens on the left, and a $2,224 microscope with $499 camera attachment on the right

It attaches to any smartphone or tablet via an adhesive backing and — using the slides provided in combination with a quality light source — it effectively turns any mobile device into a mini-laboratory on the go.

The Micro Phone Lens was built by University of Washington graduate Thomas Larson over the course of two years of work, and he hopes his invention will help kids get excited about exploring the world around them, and enable scientists to work more effectively in the field.

Grains of mixed pollen

Grains of mixed pollen

The lens currently has a resolution of 2 microns, which he hopes to get down to about 1.5 microns by the release of the final production version.

The $50,000 goal on the Kickstarter has already been funded, but he’s hoping to gain even more initial funding with the 15 remaining days. A $29 pledge will get you the lens and a carrying case while a $39 pledge earns you the same, plus the addition of a portable LED light so you can better use the microscope in any environment.

(via Digital Trends)


 
  • Fred

    The only problem I see is stabilising your phone so you can actually take a steady picture. Many people not into photography will probably not get that this won’t work handheld…

  • Snarkasaurus

    For all the times you’ve thought, “Oh man, IF ONLY I had a microscope right now!”

  • Mik Rose

    This can be a good dermatoscope for looking at skin disorders or potential skin cancers. This will catch on the the medical field for sure.

  • http://www.fabiano-silva.com/ Fabiano Silva

    This already exist for some time. Last year saw doctors on TV shows looking for skin cancer on people on street. They snap some pictures on Iphones using some macro adapter. Very similar but with less magnification.

  • dasda

    nice one and actually not overpriced i guess!

  • BobbyMcknight

    In that case, your wife is really going to love this product.

  • Dover

    I am wondering how they found what looks like the exact same field of view in the two comparison photos.

  • Charles Gedeon

    I would think they took a photo at the same time of the same thing, then just cropped and framed the same place.

  • Larissa

    this is actually revolutionary. Not for your average joe, or even your average photog, but mainly for scientists on the go. Now they can analyze pretty much anything without having to lug around heavy equipment. Of course this won’t ever put microscopes out of use. As Fred mentioned, they’ll probably need some sort of stand but that shouldn’t be too hard, even placing your phone on a book would work.

  • NiagaraTim

    Ever hear of a tripod? Or anything that can hold a iphone.. Here’s a cheap trick i use just get 6 books and put 3 per side and prop the iphone at the edges with cam facing downward get lamp to light up whatever u want to take photo and set timer in camera app thats it quick and easy! Why think so negative and critical before you stop and think positive things through before you post negative remarks

  • NiagaraTim

    Ever hear of a tripod? Or anything that can hold a iphone.. Here’s a cheap trick i use just get 6 books and put 3 per side and prop the iphone at the edges with cam facing downward get lamp to light up whatever u want to take photo and set timer in camera app thats it quick and easy!

  • NiagaraTim

    Sure kids will be excited.. But i doubt mommy will shell out that much dough for a tiny little piece of stick-on plastic and glass.. Lol