Have you ever wondered what makes up the world around you on, say, a microscopic level? Maybe you’re curious to see the composition of a raindrop, a blade of grass, the cobwebs you chase from your ceiling corners. Curiosity may have killed the cat but you, a fully-functioning human being with far greater abstract thinking capacities and opposable thumbs, prefer to indulge your inquisitive mind. Where do cobwebs come from, anyway, and what are they made of?
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It would usually require a lot of expensive lab equipment to examine something at a truly microscopic level; a Kickstarter campaign has just, however, become fully funded to bring to the world a credit-card sized microscope that uses the lens of your smartphone to bring professional-quality microscopic enhancement to…well, just about anything.
The µPeek, designed by the Swiss company Scrona, Inc., sticks to any smartphone running the (Android- and iOS-compatible) app and, utilizing sophisticated microtechnology including a 4-element lens structure and various illumination mechanisms to create a fully-functional microscope. The device is simple to attach, easy to use and clean, and incredibly portable. Allow yourself to be mesmerized for the minute and twenty seconds it takes to check out the µPeek’s short promotional video (currently making the rounds on Facebook).
The µPeek goes even further, however, with innovative lighting schematics on all models to allow use of both brightfield and darkfield microscopy, as well as UV microscopy on the Blue model. This is no high-level magnifying glass for your smartphone camera. It’s a fully-functional professional microscope.
In case you had any nagging misgivings about the quality of this device, the µPeek boasts the capacity to fit a standard-sized specimen slide for mounting specimens while performing microscopy. Additionally, it comes with a set of slides and instructions for basic specimen preparation, upping the ante considerably for its use in a professional atmosphere. Easy to use, pocketable and applicable for everyone from curiosity-seekers to professional scientists. Dare we ask what this ingenious piece of technology costs?
At a projected cost of $159.00 for the non-UV version, µPeek is designed to be affordable for everyone…even school systems can outfit their classrooms with the devices. Remember the days of twenty kids crowded around a single microscope? The future looks more like twenty kids with smartphones eagerly µPeeking at everything they can get their hands on.