Mobile Technology

Stick-on lens boosts smartphone camera magnification

The Micro Phone Lens
The Micro Phone Lens
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The Micro Phone Lens on an iPhone
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The Micro Phone Lens on an iPhone
A photo taken with the Micro Phone Lens
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A photo taken with the Micro Phone Lens
A close-up of a drawing, taken with the Micro Phone Lens
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A close-up of a drawing, taken with the Micro Phone Lens
A photo taken with prototype 150X version of the Micro Phone Lens
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A photo taken with prototype 150X version of the Micro Phone Lens
The Micro Phone Lens
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The Micro Phone Lens

Thomas Larson is looking to break into the camera phone attachment market and inspire a new generation of scientists with the Micro Phone Lens, an adhesive add-on lens that offers 15X optical magnification from a tiny footprint.

In a similar way to the Strap-on Macro Lens, the Micro Phone Lens trades off the performance of larger devices like the ProScope Micro against the convenience of being so small that you hardly notice it.

Measuring only 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter, the device is essentially a tiny sticker that goes right over the camera's lens. It is washable, removable and reusable, so you won't have to lock it into one specific smartphone or tablet.

The lens is made using "platinum catalyzed silicone technology," which basically means it uses soft plastic instead of glass. This makes it flexible and scratch-resistant and according to Larson it is optically identical to glass.

The actual lens is able to achieve a magnification of 15X, but it can achieve higher magnification in the order of 60X with the assistance of the smartphone or tablet's digital zooming capability. Larson recommends using it with a 5 megapixel cell phone camera as a minimum.

A photo taken with the Micro Phone Lens
A photo taken with the Micro Phone Lens

In the future, Larson plans to bring a 150X version of the lens to market. This would essentially create a portable microscope. Unfortunately, "unfinished design problems" are holding off the development of that model.

The creator is seeking funding for his Micro Phone Lens on Kickstarter and has already blown past his goal of US$5,000. A pledge of $15 will put you in line for one Micro Phone Lens with deliveries expected in October.

The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information on the Micro Phone Lens.

Source: Kickstarter

4 comments
DonGateley
They need to show a close up of a rectilinear grid. They also need to provide a ring illuminator for it.
Arahant
Cool, i like it, and 15$ is nothing! Im always trying to take macro photos with my iphone and it just sucks! This would be great, and the pictures on his kickstarter site of the experimental 150x lens looks even cooler.
Phillip Foshée
That's nothing more than a cheap plastic lens from a cd-rom or a disposable camera. Go to Walgreens or CVS, ask them for one of the used disposable cameras. Take out the lens. Stick it in front of your camera.
Filipe Dias
« That's nothing more than a cheap plastic lens from a cd-rom or a disposable camera. Go to Walgreens or CVS, ask them for one of the used disposable cameras. Take out the lens. Stick it in front of your camera. Phillip Foshée » Couldn't agree more, been doing it since nokia's E series cameras :)
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