Camera Phone Microscope
You can now be a scientist:
Thomas Larson, a recent University of Washington graduate, has designed and manufactured a microscope lens for smartphones and tablets. After a successful kickstarter campaign in 2013, the lens, called Micro Phone Lens, went up for sale on its own website.
Larson graduated from the University of Washington in 2013 and earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering with a concentration in mechatronics, a field of engineering that emphasizes the multidisciplinary whole nature of engineering as opposed to specialized engineering.
His tiny lens offers 15x magnification. When combined with a phone’s zoom, it can attain a maximum of 60x magnification. The lens is manufactured from a special soft plastic which makes it practically scratch proof. It also adheres to the camera phone lens without any adhesives. If it ever loses its stickiness, it can be cleaned with a little bit of soap and water which makes it function as new.
Due to the success of the 15x magnification lens, Larson was able to go forward with a 150x magnification lens. The new lens has not been made available for sale yet, but is available for preorder on in the Micro Phone Lens website.
With its portability, durability and low price tag, the Micro Phone Lens has the potential to make microscopy far more widespread and available. Larson also hopes to inspire a new generation of scientists and with this lens, he will at least make a dent.