(By Victoria Woolaston)
“The six millimetre Micro Phone Lens has a magnifying range of between 15x and 60x – by comparison a high-end smartphone camera comes with around 10x zoom.“
A graduate from Washington has designed a simple yet revolutionary camera lens that can be fitted to a smartphone camera and used to zoom to microscopic levels.
The six millimetre Micro Phone Lens has a magnifying range of between 15x and 60x – by comparison a high-end smartphone camera comes with around 10x zoom.
It is made of silicone that is capable of sticking to a smartphone camera lens without any extra adhesive and costs just $15 (£9).
All photos taken can be edited and shared in the same way as normal photos using the phone’s built-in gallery and editor.
The Micro Phone Lens was created by 22-year-old Thomas Larson from Seattle after he began working on the idea while studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington.
Larson set up a Kickstarter project to raise funding for the project in August and has already raised more than $68,000 (£44,000) before the campaign ends on 10 September.
The lenses are made of a patent pending technology called platinum catalysed silicone.
It is a sticky material that can be washed using soap and water, without damaging its adhesive qualities.
Larson claims that because the lens is classed as soft – meaning it is flexible – it can’t be scratched like traditional glass lenses and is ‘optically identical to glass’.
This means it has the same transparency as glass and can also bend and view light in a similar way.
He adds that, in theory, the lens should stay sticky ‘forever’.
On his Kickstarter page, Larson said he: ‘believes, a cheap and portable microscope of this kind could not only be used for entertaining purposes, but also provide possibilities for health and disease prevention in the developing world.’
Although Larson claims the Micro Phone Lens works with most major smartphones and camera, he recommends it is used with a camera that has 5MP or higher for the best results.
He also warns that the lens might not fit with phones that have ‘funky geometry’ but does not list any examples.
The Kickstarter campaign is for funding of a 15x version but Larson is working on ways to mass produce a higher magnification models.
‘Further down the road, I intend to make a 150X version of the lens available,’ said Larson.
‘Having a cheap and portable microscope would have huge implications for health and disease prevention in the developing world.‘
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