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Exo Labs, the Seattle startup that developed a microscope camera that can link to your iPad, now wants to put its product in the hands of students and teachers at no cost to them.

exolabs123The company is close to hitting its Kickstarter funding goal and once reached, Exo Labs plans to give 40 cameras to teachers and students. The Focus Microscope Camera is a modular camera that can be attached via cable to microscopes, telescopes and other optical devices to be used with a free Exo app.

“We want to work with students and teachers to understand their needs, and iterate our product offerings,” said president and co-founder Michael Baum.

There are similar devices in the market, Baum says, but they use the built-in camera on iPhones to look through eyepieces.

“This makes it very difficult to interact with what you are viewing and also causes optical distortion since the lenses built into iOS devices are not optimized for this kind of use,” he said.

exolabs21Things are moving quickly for Exo Labs, which has racked up more than 50 customers ranging from the education to engineering industries since debuting its product two months ago. The company of eight has raised $640,000 so far and is about to close on a series-A round, Baum said.

Exo Labs plans to expand its product offerings to include devices, apps, and cloud services in line with this goal.

“Five years from now, we plan to have a wide range of products — not just imaging — and grow to be a much larger company,” Baum said. “But we want to keep our development, operations, and manufacturing here in the Northwest.”

Exo Labs will be presenting at the Technology Alliance Summer 2013 Innovation Showcase next week.

Previously on GeekWire: Bill Gates leads $35M round to help make science research more accessible 

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