With so many additional tools in the market, your smartphone can go beyond its potential and could be used as a multi-lens camera, a fitness tracker, GPS monitor, and now finally as a microscope. Introducing Diple, a portable kit that transforms any smartphone into a microscope. The makers of this intelligent tool have turned to Kickstarter to help make it real for those who may want an affordable and portable scientific tool.
With Diple, the pitch is pretty straightforward. The tools are for those who want to take quality images of the micro-world, our blood, for example. The instruction page of the product offers instructions that involve taking a drop of blood and smearing it on a plain glass slide. The page is generous with instructions for preparing any other types of observations, such as bacteria.
Diple is a simple, compact, and portable box and it contains a light source, a stage for samples/microscope, slides and a metal plate with an optical system. The entire apparatus resembles rectangular boxes for new smartphones. The company is offering various versions “for any budget.” They also note that it could be appreciated by the ones who want to observe microorganisms or cells and also those whose interests are in biology, mineralogy and material science. The images could be saved directly to the phone. Diple offers three levels of magnification (35x, 75x and 150x), which can be increased and adjusted using the phone’s zoom.
The makers of Diple, SmartMicroOptics, say that the users will be able to achieve up to 1,000x magnification before getting any pixilation, though that will depend in part on the capacity of individuals’ smartphones.
SmartMicroOptics was founded in 20116. It is a spinoff of the Italian Institute of Technology. The company was in the news in the past about their other product “Blips” lenses and lab kits. This product was also backed up by Kickstarter.
Diple offers three variants. Diple Red has a resolution of about 3 microns. One can see cells or the invisible microorganisms around. Diple Grey’s resolution is around 1 micron, bacteria and cells are visible. Diple Black is the most powerful lens with a resolution of below 1 micron.
The setup involves simply placing the camera on the optical system and use the Diple app to control the way the user can scan across the magnified image. Diple is more a portable platform that doesn’t really attach to the phone at all. The users only need to align the device’s objective lens to the Diple’s microscope lens to see the details at 35x-1000x magnification, depending on the device’s digital zoom capabilities and the lens package purchased.
The two stages involve a simple standard stage where the user can shift the slides manually. The final stage is where the slide can be shifted via mechanical screws for a precise search of microscopic targets. The system is pretty durable, as well. The team performed a drop test- from the third floor of a building, and the system survived the fall.