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Here’s one: Thomas Larson of Seattle, WA has developed a tiny lens that attaches to your smartphone or tablet’s camera and offers a 150x magnification microscope.

Micro Phone Lens

Larson is raising funds for the project on Kickstarter, and to date he’s blown past the $50,000 he was looking for, and it’s not hard to see why. The Micro Phone Lens is inexpensive--it looks like $42 will get you the lens plus the full assortment of goodies and accessories--but offers students, parents of curious children, and even scientists working out in the field a surprisingly powerful tool.

Micro Phone Lens magnification
Prototype Micro Phone Lens 150x (left) vs $2,224 Microscope w/ $499 Camera Attachment (right.) [Phone is Samsung Galaxy S II. 'Scope is Motic AE2000 w/ 2.0 MP Moticam.]

With the lens stuck on your device and an (included) light source illuminating the area, you just press a slide onto the lens, and it will automatically focus as you apply slight pressure. It works with any device camera of 5MP or higher.

Flush with plenty of Kickstarter funds, the Micro Phone Lens 150x will enjoy increased optical quality, and Larson will be manufacturing the lenses in-house soon.

I saw someone do this a while back with the focusing lens from a pointer laser. Although not as powerfully magnified. This is really awesome. The quality of the image compared to the actual microscope is really close. Very cool idea


That's pretty cool. I wonder if you have to be careful about touching this lens. Seems fingerprints could be troublesome. However, they had good demonstrations in the video.


this is incredible! i wonder if there is a way they could make a phone telescope now! seriously cool stuff though! nice article


Germ-X/Any brand sanitizer I shall put you threw the real test!


Innovation is NOT dead, this is great!

  •  jun
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This guy has really steady hands. I think. I would probably have a hard time keeping the image I want in place. Someone needs to invent a way so that you dont have to carry around a light source.


Usually during the day you could just use Sun as the light source.