Ready for your close-up? It's a microscope for the iPhone
By Ben Coxworth
April 1, 2011
It's all very well and good that iPhones can give you directions, let you surf the web, and do about a thousand other things, but what if you want to get a close look at something really tiny? Well, the phone can't help you with that on its own, but it can if you equip it with the Mini Microscope for iPhone. Like the University of California, Davis' more clinical CellScope, it mounts over the lens of the phone's camera. Once in place, you can use it to inspect your thumb, get to know the insects in your neighborhood, or even to detect counterfeit currency.
The Mini's 60x magnification lens is connected to an adjustable-angle three-bulb LED light source. Two of those bulbs are white, for regular little-thing illumination, while the third can be used for verifying watermarks on paper currency. The lens/lights assembly attaches to a sleeve-like housing, that slips over the top of an iPhone 4 – if you've got any other model, you'll just have to squint a little harder at those backyard bugs.
Aspiring scientists – or even the real thing – can buy the Mini Microscope for iPhone from Britain's Firebox for GBP 29.99 (about US$48) plus shipping.