Mobile technology routinely enables us to accomplish things that just a few short years ago were the stuff of science fiction. But, for reasons that usually pertain to money, there’s only so much innovation that phone manufacturers can bake into their devices. Fortunately, creative individuals can pick up the slack, and Thomas Larson is the perfect example.
Larson developed Micro Phone Lens, a cheap, simple, flexible lens that can turn a regular smartphone into a basic microscope. Micro Phone Lens is just that, a lens made of soft, sticky silicon that users can apply over their smartphone’s camera to obtain an instant boost in magnification.
Sure, the little lens doesn’t hold a candle to any full-blown microscope, but it has the advantage of being cheap, portable, and usable in almost any situation.
Larson began developing the Micro Phone Lens while still in college, and he’s now ready to commercialize it, using the Kickstarter platform. For $15, you can get your own lens, along with a plastic carrying case. The young inventor already raised more than double his initial target of $5,000, with 18 days left in the campaign.
As you can see from these sample images taken with Micro Phone Lens, results can be quite good, though we suspect you will need great lighting and a steady hand to achieve similar results. The only “technical requirement” is having a phone with a 5MP camera and, preferably, auto-focus. The sticky lens is easily detachable and can be cleaned with soap and water.
Thomas Larson says he’s currently working on a superior model of his silicon lens, that magnifies by an impressive 150X. Here’s a sample, representing pollen grains.
Interested? Head over to Kickstarter.