This Tiny Lens Promises To Transform Your Phone Or Tablet Into A Microscope

If you've ever felt compelled to randomly examine something at 150x magnification, look no further than the "Micro Phone Lens". Helmed by University of Washington Thomas Larson, the Kickstarter project seeks to turn your regular tablet or smartphone camera into a piece of amateur science gear using a single light and an itty-bitty piece of plastic.

According to the Kickstarter page, it took Larson two years to perfect the design, which makes use of a platinum-catalysed polymer and an "elegantly simple mechanical focusing system"... otherwise known as "pushing down gently":

In order to use the lens, you'll need a device with a five-megapixel or greater camera... and that's it. In return you'll get images with a feature resolution of two microns, though Larson is aiming for 1.5-1.6 microns for the commercial product.

And before you worry about whether it'll hit its funding target or not, it did on Tuesday. As of writing, it's sitting at $US77,225, well above its goal of $US50,000. To get in on the science, you'll need to part with at least $US29, which gets you the lens by itself, but it's recommended you go for the $US49 tier, which provides the light and slides.

[Kickstarter]