Mobile Technology

Tiny lenses give smartphones big vision

Tiny lenses give smartphones b...
Blips are offered in pairs with two different magnification levels
Blips are offered in pairs with two different magnification levels
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Blips are offered in pairs with two different magnification levels
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Blips are offered in pairs with two different magnification levels
The Blips Basic Kit includes two lenses and two small sponges that can be used to help stabilize a phone for focus
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The Blips Basic Kit includes two lenses and two small sponges that can be used to help stabilize a phone for focus
The Blips Lab Kit includes two lenses, two sponges, a light source, a smartphone stage and six prepared slides at which to look
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The Blips Lab Kit includes two lenses, two sponges, a light source, a smartphone stage and six prepared slides at which to look
The Blips Macro lens magnifies up to about 10 times, while the Micro lens magnifies up to over 100 times
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The Blips Macro lens magnifies up to about 10 times, while the Micro lens magnifies up to over 100 times
The Macro lens can be for observing things like bugs and insects or skin blemishes and abrasions
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The Macro lens can be for observing things like bugs and insects or skin blemishes and abrasions
The Micro lens can be used for observing things as small as cells
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The Micro lens can be used for observing things as small as cells
An accompanying app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone allows users to take and share photos
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An accompanying app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone allows users to take and share photos
The Blips lenses are designed to stick onto the glass of a smartphone camera
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The Blips lenses are designed to stick onto the glass of a smartphone camera
The optimal distance from a specimen at which the Macro lens works is about 0.5 in (13 mm), while for the Micro lens it is about 0.25 in (6.4 mm)
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The optimal distance from a specimen at which the Macro lens works is about 0.5 in (13 mm), while for the Micro lens it is about 0.25 in (6.4 mm)
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Perhaps above all else, the smartphone camera triumphs for capturing moments with our friends and families. With the simplest of additions, though, our phones can be used for capturing a world so small that it is barely visible to the human eye.

Like the Micro Phone Lens, Blips lenses are designed to stick onto the exterior glass of a smartphone camera, while being barely noticeable. Blips, however, are offered in pairs with two different magnification levels.

The Blips Macro lens magnifies up to about 10 times, making it well placed for observing things like bugs and insects or skin blemishes and abrasions. The optimal distance at which it works from a specimen is about 0.5 in (13 mm).

The Blips Micro, meanwhile, can achieve magnification of over 100 times and can recognize details of about 1/7000 in (1/275 mm). This means it possible to use it to look at things as small as cells, with the optimal working distance for doing so being about 0.25 in (6.4 mm).

The Macro lens can be for observing things like bugs and insects or skin blemishes and abrasions
The Macro lens can be for observing things like bugs and insects or skin blemishes and abrasions

The lenses attach to smartphone camera glass using electrostatic force, so they don't leave any adhesive residue on the glass itself. They are also mounted upon a flexible film, though, with reusable adhesive bands that stick to the body or case of a phone so as to help keep the lenses in place.

Created by Smart Micro Optics, the Blips lenses are designed to work on all models of smartphone and tablet. The company says they are small enough to to be kept attached to a device and even in a pocket without adding any inconvenient bulk. Indeed, the Macro lens is about about 1/50-in (0.5-mm) in height, while the Micro lens is about 1/20-in (1.2-mm) in height.

An accompanying app for iOS and Android allows users to take and share photos, and the Basic Kit also includes two small sponges that can be used to help stabilize a phone for focus. A more comprehensive Lab Kit includes a light source, a smartphone stage and six prepared slides at which to look.

The Micro lens can be used for observing things as small as cells
The Micro lens can be used for observing things as small as cells

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the Blips lenses is ongoing. At the time of writing, pledges of €20 (US$22) will be rewarded with a Basic Kit, or of €40 (£45) with a Lab Kit, assuming all goes to plan with the roll-out. Shipping is expected to begin from August this year.

The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the Blips lenses.

Sources: Smart Micro Optics, Kickstarter

BLIPS: The Paper Thin Photo Microscopy Lens For All Devices

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2 comments
RichardBrown
Finally, someone writes knowing it's not a good thing: a preposition to end a sentence with. De-education has yet to claim total victory.
GianniA
They just added the BLIPS ULTRA Lens to the project. It increases the level of magnification by quite a bit!