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Ready for your close-up? It's a microscope for the iPhone


April 1, 2011

The Mini Microscope for iPhone allows the camera of an iPhone 4 to get close-up images of tiny objects (Photo: Firebox)

The Mini Microscope for iPhone allows the camera of an iPhone 4 to get close-up images of tiny objects (Photo: Firebox)

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.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

not a bad concept

adam smolkowicz

You can get this microscope (pictured one) for five bucks at ebay and for another five make a manual mounting system. :D

Renārs Grebežs

I already own one of these, but in the original form as a handheld microscope that is sold in "garden" stores. They are used to inspect the Trichomes on Cannabis plants - at least that's what the studious growers do. Monitoring the color and clarity of the flower's sticky goodness helps to harvest when the plant is at the best stage to produce the desired type of medicine.

Mark Lee
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