A new macro lens to magnify your iPhone's camera view, illuminate the scene and even make 3D surface scans in astounding detail Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on December 31, 2012.
About this project
A Bigger Picture
See us on Discovery Channel Network (N.America only)
The PhoneScope 3D; The first professional grade macro lens kit for iPhone. The macro lens gives you a closer and sharper picture then ever before. The ring light attachment includes ultra-bright LEDs which ensure a smooth and evenly lit scene when going in close. See and capture detail as never before!
For the Professionals
The PhoneScope 3D is a lot more than just your average macro-lens add-on.
The Light Lens attachment includes a ring of ulta-bright LEDs which add light to your scene. We all know how important good lighting can be to take really great pictures. The Light Lens does that!
Make 3D Surface Scans
The PhoneScope 3D allows you to make 3D surface scans of your magnified views. In particular for flat, uniform surfaces you'll be able to see and capture detail like never before!
Magnify Your View
The Macro Lens Clip enables you to magnify your iPhone's camera view by as much as 5x what it normally allows. View fine text and small objects more clearly and in greater detail.
You can use any of your favorite iPhone camera apps to capture the magnified scene.
The macro lens clip is easily attached, positioned and removed. You don't need to stick things to your phone nor add special cases.
It even attaches if your phone has a bumper. It's an add-on that we expect will find a lot of application.
Illuminate The Scene
Whenever you magnify something, you typically need more light. The Light Lens is an additional attachment which does just that. It houses 8 ultra-bright LEDs which illuminate the scene.
The Light Lens is an extra attachment for those that want to magnify things as clearly as possible and make really great pictures.
But just adding ultra-bright LEDs to illuminate a scene isn't enough. It was clear to us that the intense LED light needs to also illuminate the scene as evenly as possible.
We developed a special type of lens to do just that. The Light Lens distributes the light evenly, reducing coning. The light is more spread out, smooth and even.
You can now focus on making great pictures and capture detail like no other iPhone macro lens can.
The device magnetically attaches to the Lens Clip.
Add dimension to your pictures. You don't need special 3D glasses for this. The actual geometry of the scene is captured as an impression.
In particular for uniform and flat surfaces such as a coin, a tree leaf and even engravings the 3D shape and detail captured is simply astounding.
The 3D Surface Scan Process
The scanning process involves placing the Light Lens over the object to be captured. The device then illuminates the scene from different directions. Each scene image is captured. These images are then processed in a web-based solution specially designed for the PhoneScope.
You don't need to go to your desktop to do the conversion. You can do it straight from your phone!
The application builds the 3D surface scan. You can then share, store and view this like any other data. You can also export this 3D data in most of the popular formats such as OBJ, STL and DXF. And, yes the data can be used to 3D print your scans. Real CSI stuff :)
The "Working" Design
One good thing deserves another. The iPhone is a premium product. It deserves a premium add-on.
The Light Lens shell is made of a durable and strong anodized aircraft grade aluminum. The Light Lens itself is 3D printed on one of the most advanced machines in the industry.
The Macro Lens Clip is absolute simplicity in its design and use. It's made of tough stainless steel which is precision laser cut. The clip's shoes are made of a soft but durable material that protects the iPhone.
Materials are plasma polished. This results in a fully distributed surface polishing. There is no unevenness and it looks fantastic. Most parts are manufactured on advanced multi-axis CNC machines.
Mi project su project
We made it this far. But the next step is an interactive one...
While the ownership of the idea may be in the hands of the artist its the interaction between the artist and a community which can make something truly unique.
That makes our community as important as the creation itself. Those that share our passion and want to share in making this project happen.
Making something like the PhoneScope has been on our minds since the iPhone was first introduced. It’s great that we can now finally hold it in our hands.
The PhoneScope is our attempt at extending the possibilities of mobile devices. Adding hardware to them is in our view the next frontier. This goes far beyond cases and bumpers. And, we are seeing some great things arise, on kickstarter in particular. Things that we like to see.
Developing these technologies and packaging them into a small and useful design for the iPhone was a challenge. It was also a great experience and we got to do things that we do best. And get it done “our way”.
A big idea with a limited budget. But what was so apparent was the enthusiasm that we received from our friends, colleges and business partners. In particular after they saw the results that we were getting. Many have contributed in some way or another and assisted us in getting the seeds of this project planted. It seems more than just “our” project now.
We actually submitted our Kickstarter project early 2011. Why the wait with going live? Development takes time. We wanted to make sure that when we share the news we could also be confident about being able to deliver the product.
We took the risk to reduce the risks involved in making sure that we can get it out to you. This meant making things tangible first. Making things work. Taking our idea from mind to matter. This is the only way to truly oversee what's involved. We are now satisfied.
Kickstarter leverages many things... For us its ideas that would typically be too niche, too unique to share otherwise.
Funding Goal and Rewards
So how does this all work and what can you do?
If you want to see this project happen, then we would like you to be part of it!
Like any project your support starts by spreading the word. Letting others know about it. If you want to get even more involved consider becoming a backer.
How will the funds be used?
While very simple in design, the PhoneScope 3D is a sophisticated optical device. Sharing it with others means lowering cost by scaling production. Producing in volume. The funding goal is set to this amount.
In order to get this done right custom-made tooling for production and assembly is needed. In addition, there are many supplies and materials needed as well as manufacturing and assembly costs involved. Many of the parts are machined on high-end multi-axis CNC machines just like they use for Apple products. Cost is by the minute on these machines.
When it comes to the funding goal we have done the math. Over and over again. The main questions for us have been:
- How can we make this project happen in the best possible way. Achieve the highest level of quality.
- What can we do to provide those that believe in what we are doing with the best possible rewards.
We believe we have found the balance. And, it's a win/win or nothing situation.
Reward Levels include:
- Key Chain made of the same precision laser cut and plasma polished clamp plates of the Lens Clip. These are laser inscribed with the kickstarter and product name and the text "I backed this!". Depending on your pledge it will also include your name!
- Macro Lens Clip (MSRP $69). These are laser inscribed with the kickstarter and product name. Get the Early Bird special at $39 (limited amount available) or with the laser inscribed key chain at $49.
- Macro Lens Clip plus Light Lens Attachment (MSRP $159). The full product. Depending on your pledge the Light Lens shell will be laser inscribed with your name as well as product number. Product number inscriptions are reserved for Kickstarter backers only. Get the Early Bird special at $75 (limited amount available).
- Depending on your pledge we are also designing a specially crafted wooden box for the PhoneScope. AKickstarter limited edition version with our signatures. Also there is a camera black anodized Light Lens shell is available with your name on it.
- Website Listing. All backers can have their name listed on a special PhoneScope 3D webpage.
- First in Line. We ship you the first products we produce. You get yours delivered at the earliest possible date.
Update: By request of our Early Bird backers we will be laser inscribing all Light Lenses with production number.
They say it takes a community to raise a child. Nurturing an idea to successful product is much the same.
With your support for this project we can do our part. Every bit counts.
Thanks for your support! :)
To us, our art is enhancing the tools that allow you to enhance your art.
- All images of magnified views and 3D surface scans were made using iPhone and the PhoneScope 3D
- Video voice-over made with iPhone
- All content within images of common objects is used for reference in order to display the merit of the apparatus only.
- Trademarks: All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners
- Main video music by Mike Nowa, "Good Intentions"
Risks and challenges
Our project was accepted already early last year. Since then we have been developing our idea, allowing it to mature.
By doing so we have taken a big risk towards reducing the risks involved in the design and production of our idea.
Why? We want to be confident that we can deliver. The most important part of our project is our audience, our backers, you. And, that made it a risk worth taking.
This may be our first Kickstarter project but we are familiar with the technical processes involved. It's part of what we do.
In making things tangible we have also permitted ourselves to simplify the design and identify and resolve possible problem areas regarding production. Most of the heavy lifting is done. We have now proven our technology and design. These are tangible.
But even with the best preparation certain risks and challenges remain. There are always “growing pains” involved in production. Risks and Challenges that are still open relate to:
1. A production run of the actual production PCB. This is the circuit board for the electronics. We have built our own working prototypes. The challenge is that the production version needs to have the board populated in a specific way. Tolerances are very tight and the space is limited. Our supplier has informed us that the risks involved are medium to low.
2. Production and assembly tooling. In part, we are dependent on others to get this done. The most crucial tooling relates to the joining of the Lens Clip stainless clamp plates to the spring. High precision spot welding has proved itself but we are also looking towards laser welding for faster welds and with less tooling. Costs are high but technical risk is very low.
3. Power source for the Light Lens. The space is very limited and the power requirement is high. The Light Lens micro controller makes sure that power is used as efficiently as possible. We have also tested many different batteries. The challenge is finding the power source which will offer the longest charge, smallest form factor and be the easiest to use. Medium risk.
The risks are not about "if" we can get this done but rather can we get it done on schedule.
We have been in frequent contact with our suppliers, building insight and relation. We also had small production runs completed for several parts in order to make certain that production logistics checked out.
Can we get the job done and deliver? We believe we can and we have the experience and expertise to do so.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
It was designed for the iPhone 4/4S. Note: the iPhone 5 has a slightly different housing design and camera optics. We expect to deliver the iPhone 5 version at the same time as the iPhone 4 version.
The PhoneScope is a specially designed precision product with very tight tolerances. However, to be clear, the technology itself is not limited to the iPhone.
If your case has opening which is greater than 12.5mm in diameter centered around the camera and also the opposite side of the iPhone then the answer is yes. The clip needs this clearance in order to be attached.
No. The technology is specifically for magnified surface views only.
Yes. The solution will be web-based so that all may use. You will be able to upload the data straight from your phone!
In future release perhaps. The full resolution 3D surface scans are incredibly detailed and too process-intensive for a mobile device at this time. However, you can send the raw data via the iPhone to others, no problem. The solution will be web-based.
It's based on a specially developed photometric stereo technique. This technique interprets depth based on how light is distributed over the object surface. It can't distinguish absolute depth. Rather, it assumes depth based on how the light interacts with the surface that is being scanned. And, it does an excellent job at that. It certainly has its restrictions. But within its working range the result is very high resolution scans with crisp detail. You'll discover detail you would not see otherwise. There is also no scan dribble typically found with laser and white light type technologies.
The quick answer is that the accuracy can be very high. But accuracy is dependent on many variables and pertains to the scene itself. Smooth, flat uniform surfaces can achieve excellent accuracy and can even be in the microns provided that conditions are correct. Non-uniform surfaces can be off by several mm's or more.
Glass can not be directly scanned. It's transparent. Very few technologies can do this. However, the technology used here has great robustness against shine. We have scanned in fossils that were heavily embedded in sparkling minerals, no problem.
Less than 5 seconds. You will need to hold the device steady during this time.
Yes, most certainly. In fact, the our processing solution has special provisions for preparing your scans to be water-tight and ready to print!
We are still working on selecting either batteries or a rechargeable cell. We have tested both. In terms of battery life you will be able to make several hundreds of pictures before the battery needs to be replaced/recharged.
Adding more LED's consumes more power. Also, this does not add any additional benefit in terms of lighting. In particular since the PhoneScope's Light Lens distributes and evens out the light. It's the quality of the light that counts here. The unique Light Lens design is the trick part.
It's actually better, maybe even one of the best. It's certainly the only one we know of for a mobile device. The lens improves the quality of the light. It diffuses the light while also directing to the scene. In addition, when the image data is compiled through our web-based solution it will automatically further balance out the lighting in the image. No other ring light that we know of offers this.
- (45 days)