Researchers combine mobile phone technology and microscopy

Feb 15, 2012

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an optical accessory that turns an ordinary camera phone into a high-resolution microscope. The device is accurate to one hundredth of a millimetre. Among those who will benefit from the device are the printing industry, consumers, the security business, and even health care professionals. A new Finnish enterprise called KeepLoop Oy and VTT are already exploring the commercial potential of the invention. The first industrial applications and consumer models will be released in early 2012.

The operation of the device is based on images produced by the combined effect of an LED light and an . Various surfaces and structures can be examined in microscopic detail and the phone's camera used to take sharp, high-resolution images that can be forwarded as MMS messages.

An ordinary mobile phone turns into an instant by attaching a thin, magnetic microscope module in front of the camera's normal lens. The device fits easily in the user's pocket, unlike conventional tubular microscopes.

The plastic macro lens of the mobile phone microscope magnifies objects effectively. The camera's field of view is 2 x 3 millimetres. A number of LEDs have been sunk into the outer edge of the lens, allowing objects to be illuminated from different angles. Images illuminated from several different angles could be used to produce 3D , for example, with . The would be accurate to one hundredth of a millimetre.

The competitive edge of the product is based on next-generation lens technology, the compact and user-friendly structure, and customisable extra features.

The mobile phone microscope is suited for examining surfaces and surroundings, for security, health care, and even games

The mobile phone microscope could also be used to study surface formations, especially in the printing industry as part of quality control and in field conditions. In the security business the device could be used, for example, to read microcode in various logistics systems, while it is also suited for studying security markings, and for authenticating products as genuine as part of brand protection. The microscope is capable of detecting hidden symbols in products that are not visible to the naked eye.

The device can also be applied to study of the environment. Consumers could use the instant microscope when out and about to examine the leaves of trees and plants, for example, or study insects. Another potential application is in examining textile structures such as strands of hair, or the fibrous structure of paper.

The device also has uses in social media, and in community-based hybrid media where traditional forms of media are used in combination with each other. There are also several potential applications in the gaming world.

Explore further: Engineers complete first comprehensive mesh-free numerical simulation of skeletal muscle tissue

Provided by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Samsung Intros 3D Game Phones with Vibration

Apr 08, 2005

Samsung Electronics introduced 3D game phones (models: SPH-G1000, SCH-G100) with vibration capability. The phone delivers realistic images and true-to-life sound, while the vibration it sends to the user's ...

Carl Zeiss lens enables highest quality in camera phones

Sep 09, 2004

The lens is supplied by Carl Zeiss, the camera module and electronics by Dialog Semiconductor: with this collaboration, the two companies aim to take part right from the beginning in shaping the growing market for high quality ...

Recommended for you

Analyzing gold and steel – rapidly and precisely

23 minutes ago

Optical emission spectrometers are widely used in the steel industry but the instruments currently employed are relatively large and bulky. A novel sensor makes it possible to significantly reduce their size ...

More efficient transformer materials

43 minutes ago

Almost every electronic device contains a transformer. An important material used in their construction is electrical steel. Researchers have found a way to improve the performance of electrical steel and ...

Sensor network tracks down illegal bomb-making

53 minutes ago

Terrorists can manufacture bombs with relative ease, few aids and easily accessible materials such as synthetic fertilizer. Not always do security forces succeed in preventing the attacks and tracking down ...

Miniature camera may reduce accidents

1 hour ago

Measuring only a few cubic millimeters, a new type of camera module might soon be integrated into future driver assistance systems to help car drivers facing critical situations. The little gadget can be ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Hengine
not rated yet Feb 16, 2012
Any indication of the expected price to consumers?