We are surrounded by a world that we cannot see; our eyes just aren’t up to the task. But the mystery, the excitement, and the struggles of that world are within our grasp, as is being a part of the community of microscopists capturing and sharing that drama with the world.
Journey to the Microcosmos is a video series that dives into the unseen world that surrounds us, and we are excited to bring into the world a microscope designed with content creation in mind. We want people to be able to easily film, photograph, and share their discoveries with the world, so we are creating a microscope designed to interface with the amazing cameras on your smartphone.
We’re also creating some materials to help you in your journey into becoming a microscopist because, of course, using the microscope is only one part. Collecting samples, keeping them healthy, identifying what you’re seeing, we want to help with all of that!
Microscopes can be complicated, but we want to make it easy for you to start your journey to the microcosmos.
These filters add color to images and can be stacked to create color gradients.
Oblique illumination filters add depth and contrast to images, while dark field filters change the background color of the field of view from light to dark.
Note: Our microscope adapter will work with any cell phone camera but here are some things to know!
1. It will work best with phones that have telephoto (2x) lenses, but also works without that!
2. The iPhone works very hard to try and figure out which lens to use in any given case, and in the case of being put on a microscope, that means it just freaks out and stops working. So to work with the iPhone, a third-party camera app like ProCam 8 is required. ProCam 8 costs $6.99 in the app store. This may also be the case for some other phones, but there are just so many other phones!
3. When you first attach the phone, the image will not take up the whole screen, it will be a circle inside the screen, and you can either use software zoom (suggested) or zoom into it afterward in your editing software of choice!
Risks and challenges
Microscopes aren’t simple, but there are some great manufacturers out there. The most complicated part of our project, thus, is the adapter that connects your phone to the microscope. We have already prototyped this adapter and have made samples of it with the manufacturer we will be working with. The production of many of these adapters, of course, needs to be done carefully, so we do not want to rush that process. We’re largely avoiding complications by capping the number of these microscopes we can sell. Making 500 is very different from making 5000. But the possibility of delays due to manufacturing, supply shortages, or shipping snafus absolutely exists.