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Lenses

— Science

Smartphone microscope can be made for under a dollar

By - September 17, 2014 3 Pictures
Suppose you were a first responder, who got called out to investigate a suspicious substance found in a public place. Instead of having to transport that material back to the lab, wouldn't it be better if you could just take a microscope image of it with your smartphone, email that image off to a remote lab, then receive the analysis within just a few minutes while you were still on location? Thanks to a very inexpensive new phone attachment developed at the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), that could soon be possible. Read More
— Good Thinking

Hi-tech glasses aim to assist the blind with directions and obstacle detection

By - May 22, 2014 2 Pictures
Researchers from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Mexico have developed a pair of glasses that use a combination of ultrasound, GPS, stereoscopic vision and artificial intelligence to help the visually impaired to navigate their environment. The device, perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind, is slated to reach mass production early next year and will likely cost up to US$1,500. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Dual-lens camera promises better smartphone photos

By - May 12, 2014 5 Pictures
Although people may speak about zooming in with smartphone cameras, what they're doing isn't actual "zooming" in the telephoto-lens sense of the word. That's because almost all phone cameras just have a digital zoom, meaning that in order to get in closer on the subject, the phone just enlarges the pixels from the middle of the frame. The result is a grainy, crappy photo. While it is possible to squeeze optical zoom lenses into phones, Tel Aviv University spinoff company Corephotonics has developed a sleeker solution, that utilizes the combined output of two compact lenses. Read More
— Science

How do you make a 1-cent microscope lens? Just bake a batch in the oven

By - April 24, 2014 5 Pictures
Microscope lenses are typically made either by grinding and polishing glass discs, or pouring polymers into molds – both techniques can be quite involved, which is reflected in the price of the finished product. Now, however, a scientist from Australian National University has devised a new lens-making process, in which drops of silicone are simply baked in an oven. The resulting lenses can be used for a variety of applications, yet are worth less than one cent each. Read More
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