These days kids tend to get a new smartphone for their birthday instead of educational toys, but there’s no reason the two can’t be combined. A $30 lens can add 150x magnification to your smartphone or tablet camera and allow you to explore the microscopic world.
The Micro Phone Lens is a Kickstarter project by Thomas Larson who already created a similar 15x lens last year.
The lens just sticks to the device’s camera and can be pulled off when you’re done. It’s very low-tech – you press on it to adjust the focus and can use the default camera app.
What you will need is a light source and a microscope slide. You can provide your own, of course, or go for the $40 reward to get an adjustable light, $50 for the light and six slides with specimens already prepared.
The recommended camera resolution is 5MP, but the Micro Phone Lens seems to work just fine with iPad’s front-facing camera too. The final product should be able to resolve features as small as 1.5-1.6 microns.
Find out more info about this camera add-on on its Kickstarter page (the project has already reached its goal).