Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 10, 2013.

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Turn your cell phone or tablet into a microscope with this amazing lens! Works with iPhone, Android and more.

Important:

There is now a reward option allowing international shipping.

Hold the Power of a Microscope in Your Hands

The Micro Phone Lens turns almost any cell phone into a powerful microscope. Take and send microscopic pictures and videos with your phone. Your friends will be amazed when you show them the Micro Phone Lens!

Features include:

  • Optically identical to glass
  • Soft lens is impervious to scratching
  • Self-adheres to almost any cell phone or tablet camera
  • Reusable: If dirty, just wash with soap and water!
  • Ultra-portable: take it anywhere

Elegantly Simple

The Micro Phone Lens is compact, durable, and has no moving parts. It works with almost any Cell Phone or Tablet. Using the Micro Phone Lens is easy:

1. Stick On: Press the Lens directly onto the device camera lens to adhere it until you're done using it.

2. Focus: Move your device close to what you're looking at. Most devices can tap to focus to make your image crystal clear.

3. Capture: Take a picture or video and share it. Impress your friends, make a new discovery, or figure out what's in that sandwich you just ate; the only limit is your imagination!

Technical Specs

  • Base magnification: 15X
  • Max magnification: 60x with phone zoom
  • Minimum recommended camera: 5 Megapixels 
  • Product diameter: 1/4'' ( Approx. 6 mm)

Made with Platinum Catalyst Technology

The ultra-compact design of the Micro Phone lens is possible through patent pending platinum catalyzed silicone technology. This is what makes the Lens boldly stand out in a world full of tech gadgets.

Inspire a New Generation of Scientists

Americans consistently rank among the bottom of developed nations in terms of science education. Getting kids excited about science is an easy way to improve their academic skills and set them up for future success.

This bizarre trout parasite was recently documented by the Whitewater Creek Conservation Association by using the Micro Phone Lens. What will you discover?
This bizarre trout parasite was recently documented by the Whitewater Creek Conservation Association by using the Micro Phone Lens. What will you discover?

Give a Micro Phone Lens to someone you love and spark a new kind of backyard exploration!

Why Kickstarter

The Short: I'm taking this project to Kickstarter to get it out of my basement and into the real world. Sort of like graduation.

The Long: This is a project that I've been working on for over a year now. I've invested a lot of time and money in it. There have been plenty of ups and downs, and now it's finally time to make the Micro Phone Lens available to the public.

Through your help I can improve production capacity and design. I'll increase my manufacturing capacity from taking hours to make a single lens to being able to fulfill all the donator rewards. This will put things in a great place to start selling the Micro Phone Lens online.

Production Plan

I'll be making each Micro Phone Lens in-house (literally). This has huge advantages over outsourcing the manufacturing. I'll have complete control over the production of the lenses, guaranteeing that each lens is quality assured.

To complete this project I will be scaling up and improving the manufacturing techniques used to make the prototypes. I'd love to fill this section up with pictures and schematics of the manufacturing process, but I've been advised against it for intellectual property reasons.

I plan on mailing out each Micro Phone Lens as soon as your donation is confirmed. Expect your Lens by late September; but it may take until October. Follow project updates to stay informed.

Fabric
Fabric

Future

This Kickstarter is for sponsoring the development and distribution of the 15X magnification Micro Phone Lens. However, by supporting the project you are allowing future development of the design.

Further down the road, I intend to make a 150X version of the Lens available. Having a cheap and portable microscope would have huge implications for health and disease prevention in the developing world.

The following pictures were taken with a highly experimental 150X magnification version of the Micro Phone Lens. Due to unfinished design problems, this version isn't quite ready yet. 

Pollen
Pollen
Onion
Onion

About the Creator


Based in Seattle, Thomas Larson is a graduate of the University of Washington, BS Mechanical Engineering '13 with specialization in Mechatronics. He began working on the Micro Phone Lens in early 2012, in the Cell Biomechanics Lab under Prof. Nathan Sniadecki. He further developed the Lens with team "Cell Focus", placing in the top 16 of the University of Washington Business Plan Competition. Upon graduation he received the UW Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Research Award for his work. This Kickstarter represents his first foray into the post-educational  world.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Near-final prototypes have already been made, and my college education focused heavily on manufacturing, so development/production won't be an issue. I have experience using the postal system so fulfillment won't be a problem.

You don't need a brand new cell phone to use the Micro Phone Lens, but I recommend 5 megapixels or more for best results. Also, please look at the picture of how the Lens fits on the camera. I've never seen it, but if your device has a funky geometry it might not fit right.

Other than some unforeseeable disaster, the biggest risk is if this project doesn't get funded. Please help spread the word about the Micro Phone Lens!

-Thomas

FAQ

  • Hello Everyone. I've received an incredible amount of interest in offering international shipping, so I've added an additional reward option that allows international shipping.

    If you have already donated, you should be able to change your reward option pretty easily. Don't hesitate to message me if you have any questions.

    Last updated:
  • There is actually no adhesive involved with the Micro Phone Lens. The stickiness is a property of the material : )

    Last updated:
  • To the best of my knowledge, the stickiness should last more or less "forever". Over time the Lens will acquire dust, dirt, etc... that may impact the stickiness but a quick rinse with soap and water will make it good as new.

    Last updated:
  • No... just no.

    While the optics of the Micro Phone Lens work in a similar way to the Do-It-Yourself DVD player lens, this is a novel invention being manufactured solely by the inventor.

    Additionally, the Micro Phone Lens has several advantages over the D-I-Y DVD lens method:

    -The Micro Phone Lens sticks directly onto your cell phone! No tape, glue, gum, paper clips, etc...
    -The Micro Phone Lens is made of a soft, pliable plastic, so it is extremely resistant to scratching
    -The Micro Phone Lens is cheaper than buying a DVD player

    Last updated:
5,092
Backers
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    43 backers

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    100 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD - One (1) Micro Phone Lens! Also includes plastic carrying case.

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    Ships within the US only
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    1988 backers

    INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING- One (1) Micro Phone Lens! Also includes plastic carrying case. This is exactly the same as the other $15 version, except it includes an international shipping option.

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    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
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    One (1) Micro Phone Lens! Also includes plastic carrying case.

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    20 backers

    Thank you for your support! Includes: One (1) Micro Phone Lens, plastic carrying case, as well as a limited edition single-run Micro Phone Lens T-Shirt!

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    10 backers

    INTERNATIONAL OPTION- Thank you for your support! Includes: One (1) Micro Phone Lens, plastic carrying case, as well as a limited edition single-run Micro Phone Lens T-Shirt!

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    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Thank you for your support! Includes: One (1) Micro Phone Lens, plastic carrying case, as well as a limited edition single-run Micro Phone Lens T-Shirt! Also includes an autographed document from the design process! This is a schematic, drawing, or otherwise significant piece of paper. Own a part of history!

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  • Pledge $999 or more
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    0 backers

    Includes all of the above, plus spend the day with the inventor. Thomas will spend the day with you doing activities of your choosing, within the Puget Sound region. Have him make you dinner, or use him as a conversation piece to impress your friends. He'll even play trombone for your kid's birthday party! Also includes One (1) Thomas's eternal gratitude, and One (1) warm fuzzy feeling.

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Funding period

- (21 days)