Turn Smartphone Camera Into A Microscope
Another addition to the world of smart phones is the Micro Phone Lens that can turn almost any cell phone, Android or iPhone into a powerful microscope.
The creator, Thomas Larson from Seattle, is a graduate of the University of Washington, BS Mechanical Engineering ’13 with specialization in Mechatronics. He began working on the Micro Phone Lens in early 2012, in the Cell Biomechanics Lab under Prof. Nathan Sniadecki. He further developed the Lens with team “Cell Focus” and they came in the top 16 of the University of Washington Business Plan Competition. Upon graduation, he received the UW Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Research Award for his work.
Being compact in design and durable, with no moving parts; the Micro Phone Lens works with almost any Cell Phone or Tablet. It can be used in three simple steps, sticking to the device camera lens, focusing the image and capturing the miniatures!
It has various distinct properties that make it an astounding invention. Optical similarity to glass, scratch-free lens, great adherence properties, washable and ultra-small to be carried anywhere and also having the patent pending platinum catalyzed silicone technology making the lens ultra compact. The technical specifications of this invention are as follows:
Base magnification: 15X
Max magnification: 60x with phone zoom
Minimum recommended camera: 5 megapixels
Product diameter: 1/4” (approx. 6 mm).
To make the lens public, Larson is waiting for grants; according to him, “ Other than some unforeseeable disaster, the biggest risk is if this project doesn’t get funded.” He adds, “To complete this project I will be scaling up and improving the manufacturing techniques used to make the prototypes. I’d love to fill this section up with pictures and schematics of the manufacturing process, but I’ve been advised against it for intellectual property reasons.”
He further plans on manufacturing each lens in his home based lab to have complete control over the production and quality of the product.
In future, he aims to make a 150X version of this Lens. He feels that such an addition to the world of science would have enormous implications for health and disease preclusion in the developing world.