Optics manufacturer Bodelin is no stranger to hand-held microscopes, having previously brought us a series that can be connected to the USB port of a laptop. Given that smartphones are in many ways replacing laptops, however, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Oregon-based company has now introduced its ProScope Micro Mobile – it’s a lab-quality microscope that mounts on the user’s iPhone.
The nylon/ABS sleeve of the device slips over the iPhone like a case, positioning the microscope lens over the phone’s camera lens. That lens provides 20 to 80X magnification, using “pro level glass optics” that have been coated for improved image quality and color reproduction.
A ring of 12 adjustable-brightness LEDs surround the lens to evenly illuminate the subject, via polarized or reflective lighting. They’re powered by an onboard lithium-ion battery that provides five hours of continuous use per 2-hour charge. That battery charges via an included USB cable.
A desk stand is also included, for keeping the microscope-clad iPhone propped up and in place.
The ProScope Micro Mobile works with the iPhone 4/4S/5 and the iPod touch, while versions featuring different sleeves fit onto the iPad and iPad mini. They’re all priced at US$149, and are available now for pre-order. Shipping should start on May 1st.
The device can be seen in use in the video below.
If you don’t need something quite so professional, and you want to spend considerably less money, there are a number of cheaper iPhone microscopes on the market.