This tiny $15 lens turns your cell phone into a microscope

Our smartphones can do some pretty neat stuff — surf the web, check email, take high-res pictures, give us turn-by-turn directions, wake us up, deposit checks, etc., etc.

microlensphone2And now, by attaching a tiny lens to the camera, your phone can become a 60X microscope.

That’s what recent University of Washington grad Thomas Larson is raising money for on Kickstarter, and it’s safe to say he’s kicking some ass already. Larson has more than 1,647 backers who had pitched in $28,763 by Monday afternoon, obliterating his $5,000 funding goal.

[Related: Exo Labs reels in $1.25M to build iPad-enabled microscope cameras]

It’s easy to see why. By pledging just $15, you’ll receive a “Micro Phone Lens” that will give you the power to zoom in on anything from nature to man-made products. The lens, which features a base magnification of 15X, is not adhesive and is able to stick to your camera lens thanks to its platinum catalyzed silicone technology.

microphonelens3

The Micro Phone Lens lets you take up-close pictures like this one.

thomaslarson

Thomas Larson just graduated from the University of Washington and is now selling his “Micro Phone Lens” on Kickstarter.

Larson, who just graduated this past spring with a mechanical engineering degree, will manufacture each lens here in Seattle. He has been working on this project for over one year with his professor, and the idea was good enough to make the top-16 in the 2013 University of Washington Business Plan Competition.

Eventually, Larson wants to ship out a 150X version of the Micro Phone Lens. Based on the Kickstarter response so far, he shouldn’t have too much trouble doing so.

  • Guest

    Pretty cool idea, it’s more of a macro lens though. A microscope would need to be many X more powerful. For $15 it’s a good deal for a cell phone fun pic.