About this project
A unique set of mini-objectives for smartphones and tablets that allows you to explore the micro-world.
A gateway to the microscopic world for everyone! BLIPS can be easily used for technical investigations or just for fun!
3 different lenses for different purposes: Macro, Micro and the brand new ULTRA!
The awesome Blips Lenses: MACRO & MICRO.
The other two Blips Lenses have 2 lower levels of magnification, but they are also a lot more easy to use and stable without the help of a specific stand of stage. Think about the Blips range of lenses are different optics for your camera. Each one of them serves a specific purpose.
EXTREMELY THIN & LIGHT: the world's thinnest set of microscope lenses for smartphones and tablets
VERY AFFORDABLE: for all budgets
ULTRA PORTABLE: can easily fit in your pocket or wallet
BLIPS is so slim that you can connect it to your device and keep it in your pocket without having to worry about losing it.
HIGH RESOLUTION: Distinguish details <4 microns.
BETA TESTER'S COMMENT: “Having an easy to use microscope in the pocket of your jacket opens a world of possibilities to observe the deeper details of Nature inners working in everyday life. I have been carrying Blips with me for some times now and I ended up pulling it out in many occasions for a quick glance (and picture) at otherwise hidden and fascinating phenomena. With its ease of use, portability and performance such a small object expands so much our vision that it is even difficult to forecast in how many ingenious and artistic ways it can be used.”
Dr. M. Stefancich, Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism, Italian National Research Council
REPOSITIONABLE AND REUSABLE: It sticks again and again!
No unwieldy spring clips pressing on your touch screen
HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE: to fit any devices
You can cut the film using scissors, shaping BLIPS as you prefer. The two sticky bands are meant to enhance adherence onto non-polished surfaces; the lens will always stick on the glass when the surface is clean.
EASY TO CLEAN: dust free, non-sticky top surfaces
(Do not touch the adhesive bands often. Grease and dust affect their adhesive strength.)
SUPER COMPATIBLE: it works on all models of smartphones and tablets
A special edition for a special result! Two more pledges are now online to celebrate BLIPS big success. These rewards are limited, signed and the packaging is made especially for this Kickstarter campaign.
From neuroscience labs to your pocket!
BLIPS has been developed within the neuroscience labs of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) exploiting the materials and the methods used for the manufacturing of micro devices for the investigation of neuronal networks. Although it was born in a research lab, it has been designed for mass production from the very beginning.
COMMENTS FROM BETA TESTERS AROUND THE WORLD:
The blips lenses are awesome! They are so easy to use, you just stick the micro or macro lens on your phone's camera (they literally are stickers) and you are ready to blip away. They are small and lightweight which allows you to have them always available, hence you never have to say again: "Oh I wish I had my camera with me". I have them in the back of my phone I love taking pictures with an artistic flavor to them as a hobby. I especially like taking pictures of insects, flowers and skin. Blips allows you to take pictures with great zoom (micro mode) which otherwise would require a dslr with a special lens (if not a microscope). With blips, anyone can become an artist! It's so easy to take beautiful, artistic pictures!
Vicky Papavasileiou Phd Student, UC San Diego - USA
“Recently I received a sample of BLIPS for testing purposes. I immediately used these lenses to see printed pixels on a magazine and the pixels of my laptop screen. The lenses can be easily applied on the smartphone, making it a really useful microscope.”
Dr G. Marchetti, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin
"I had the pleasure to test Blips Macro and Micro lenses with my smartphone. The product is well packaged and instructions are easy and very intuitive. Lenses can be positioned on any mobile phone thanks to the smart design of the lenses and support. I have used them to make some pics of electronic components, but I see possible applications on medicine and wherever exploration and reporting of quality surfaces is needed”
Dr. E.L. Secco, Robotics Laboratory, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science Liverpool Hope University, UK
We just successfully tested the brand new BLIPS ULTRA LENS and we're happy to offer it with our Lab Kit (there are NEW pledges live now). The new ULTRA Kits contain, in addition to the Micro and Macro lenses a new one with yet the highest level of magnification, twice as powerful as the Micro Lens. You can see below some samples of the new ULTRA lens, they're pretty impressive for such a small, flexible and portable tool.
Due to the high level of magnification, the ULTRA Lens should be used with Lab Kit pledges, which assure the needed level of stability for shooting photos and videos, thanks to the included Smartphone Stage included in every Lab Kit.
It allows you to take high definition macro pictures with optical magnification of about 10 times. It is extremely thin, about 1/50 inch (0.5mm), and very user friendly. It represents the first step from “standard” photography towards portable microscopy. Its working distance, i.e. the distance between the lens and the focal plane, is of about 1/2 inch (12mm).
Hence, it can be used like a high power magnification lens for precision works or for several other applications where an enhanced electronic eye is desired, from technical uses to sheer fun. For example, it can be used for quality control of soldering works, on cloth, seams, paints or other manufactured items. Needle and thread insertion, self-examination of moles, skin, or nails, children’s hair inspections for head lice/nits, insects or spiders observation, checking of parasites on leaves, etc.
It allows you to use your smartphone as a real microscope in seconds!
Blips Micro is able to detect details of about 1/7000 inch (≈1/300 mm), distinguishing single cells or other inhabitants of the micro-world. BLIPS Micro is less than 1/20 inch (≈1.2mm) high, and turns your phone into an actual digital microscope. You need to keep a distance of ¼ inch (6mm) between the lens and the sample under observation to discover tiny details at a high definition. With the use of the digital zoom it’s possible to achieve magnification of over 100x*.
*Note: the magnification factor depends on the model of smartphone or tablet used. To measure the magnification factor we suggest to take a picture of two tick marks on a ruler and measure the captured image on the screen. Other products claimed magnification factors often prove lower than claimed when tested by using this method.
A package made of two lenses: 1 BLIPS MACRO & 1 BLIPS MICRO plus 2 small sponges which facilitate to stabilize the focus. (Use one over the other when using Macro BLIPS).
Note: each smartphone model is different; slightly press the sponge to find the correct distance for your device.
BLIPS LAB KIT can be used for scientific studies or even just for fun! A useful tool for technical discoveries or educational purposes, provided at an affordable price.
To use Micro to explore the realm of microscopy we also offer a selection of pre-prepared microscope slides plus an easy to assemble mechanical accessory with a sufficient light source for optimum observation of flat and thin samples. In our standard pack you will find glass slides of insect parts, parasites and human tissues.
You can add the brand new ULTRA LENS to the Lab Kits, just look for it in the special dedicated pledges
The pack contains:
• 2 BLIPS lenses: Micro & Macro
• some pledges have the NEW ULTRA LENS (Look for NEW! ULTRA...)
• 1 light source
• 2 sponges
• 1 smartphone stage
• 6 prepared slides
Whether it is for precise manufacturing, or you just need to handle tweezers or other tools, you often need your hands free. Using our smart stand desk holder, you can position your smartphone and use it like a high magnification optical lens.
• needle and thread
• building tiny models
• precise reparations
Blips is marketed as a tool for various industry professionals. The macro lens is perfect for detailed work such as model-making, intricate repairs, restoration works and self inspections for head lice, moles and skin dermatitis.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MICRO, MACRO AND THE NEW ULTRA?
MACRO: The best option to observe insects or objects in motion. Its deeper focus allows you to easily follow the subject you are examining.
MICRO: For higher magnification; maximal resolution (ability to see small details) can be achieved by using transmitted light through the subject you are observing (for example using prepared slides and a light source from behind)
ULTRA: The brand new Blips Lens with the highest magnification. It requires a Lab Kit Pledge to work, as it provides the proper stand to guarantee the necessary stability to view and photograph slides and objects
NEW IMAGES SHOT WITH BLIPS ULTRA
BLIPS HAS ALSO BEEN FEATURED ON MOST US NEWS NETWORKS, SUCH AS: CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC, MSNBC! WATCH ONE OF THEM IN THE VIDEO BELOW.
1) Clean the glass of the camera with a piece of fabric or cloth to make sure dust and grease are properly removed
2) Lift BLIPS by one end
3) Keep the two ends of the film facing upwards, align the lens on the camera and press it onto the glass window; it will adhere electrostatically, do not be afraid to touch and press the lens with your finger
4) Stick the rest of the film onto the smartphone body
5) Open the App (available freely for Android and IOS).
6) Move your device close to the subject under observation; the distance is 12mm for BLIPS Macro and 6mm for Micro. Put the lens as closer as possible to the sample and slowly move backwards until the image is focused, or use the sponge to easily find the correct distance. If light conditions are weak, activate the flashlight mode on your mobile (by activating the flash command in app)
LAB KIT INSTRUCTIONS
NOTE: for smartphones that have the camera lens near the corner (for example iPhones), you can turn the extra film around the edge of the device or you can cut it away with scissors, as in the illustrated instructions.
1) In order to achieve the best performance possible, make sure your Blips lens is aligned well on the camera.
2) When sticking the lens onto the camera, try to reach the best optical contact between the two surfaces; make sure the surface between the film and the glass looks black and does not present any bubble.
3) In order to improve adherence:
• clean the glass from grease or dust
• press the lens against the camera with your finger
• warm the film up (best when > 20°C) and, whenever possible, the device, in order to improve the conformability of the film
• gently clean the rear side of the lens from grease or dirt by using water or soapy water
BLIPS REQUIRES LITTLE MAINTENANCE
Keep BLIPS on the camera for as long as you need; you can stick the BLIPS lenses on your camera or nearby for a whole day or more. When you do not use BLIPS for long periods, place the lenses back on their original card. Keep them in your wallet, bag, or anywhere you want.
Avoid to press on the lenses for extended periods. The adherence might be weak when applied below 15°C (50F).
THE APP PROVIDED IS IOS AND ANDROID COMPATIBLE
The app adjusts your device’s settings in order to use it with Blips.
USER FRIENDLY interface / LED TORCH command / AF Block / Easy sharing
If your device does not support Android or IOS you can easily use Blips with your favorite application, making sure the subject you are examining is exposed to enough light. If possible, lock the autofocus and visualize the captured images on full screen.
BLIPS PROTECTS YOUR PRIVACY!
While playing around with BLIPS, we casually found out that when lenses are attached to a Mac / PC Camera, it also provides a strong privacy barrier, offering 2 different degrees of blurring. No more prying eyes on your devices! A cool extra perk to make good use of BLIPS.
BLIPS (patent pending technology) is made of composite multilayered structures. All the materials constituting BLIPS come from European and US suppliers.
Extremely thin --> Macro Lens ≈ 0.5mm, Micro Lens<1.2mm
Made of plastic resin of shore hardness D 80-90 --> not easily deformable
High refractive index material (n > 1.55) --> superior optical performance
Aspherical shape --> optimized optical design
Non-sticky top surface --> dust-free, extremely easy to clean
Inert plastic, certified to meet the US Class VI USP protocol for use in medical applications in cases of skin contact --> harmless when in contact with skin
High resolution --> Distinguishes details <4 microns (≈ 1/6500 inch) for Micro
REACH compliant --> Safe
Electrostatic adherence --> Adheres to clean, polished, smooth surfaces (like glass), re-usable without leaving adhesive residues
Flexible and conformable --> adapts to the shape of your device
Washable with soapy water --> Easy maintenance
Risks and challenges
BLIPS SmartMicroOptics Srl (SMO)’s first product and it’s the result of a technology transfer from the “Italian Institute of Technology”. Although it was born in a research lab, it has been designed for mass production from the very beginning. Even if extremely thin, BLIPS is a composite: part of it is made by using standard components and processes which were already largely available form a list of suppliers of SMO, while SMO is in charge of the rest of the fabrication process, setting the manufacturing facility for large production. The current manufacturing capability, in lab scale, is of 100 BLIPS per day, which will be scaled up during the next weeks, according to the success of the campaign. All the materials constituting BLIPS come from European and US suppliers. The accessories have been selected by testing a number of components available on the market, specifically designing new components and establishing relationships with reliable external manufacturers, aiming at the highest level of satisfaction of the backers.
BLIPS is a brand new product; in order to test and improve it in the last months we have distributed many samples (approximately 100-150) to different people in terms of age, culture and education levels, collecting comments and suggestions for a proper development of the product. The feedbacks were usually enthusiastic, even for the first prototypes. The founder of SmartMicroOptics is experienced in start-up creation and rump-up production; nevertheless, since BLIPS is the first product of a new company, some unexpected issues might arise when changing facilities and when passing from the lab scale to mass production. In order to face some of these problems, we have designed a modular production facility for fast and easy scalability.
Logistics and communication issues could arise, especially in case of a high number of backers. We have already established agreements with a company with previous experience in Kickstarter campaigns, in order to support our efforts throughout this adventure. We will do our best to stay on track and to reward our backers and fulfill their expectations. This would be the first step of a structured project, the first product out of a list we are planning for the near future, and we don’t want to fail this first milestone.
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