The phone in your pocket is evolving, once just functioned as a medium for calling, can perform most of the tasks that 80s sci-fi movies portrayed. Today’s phones operate as a powerful camera, GPS, heart-rate monitor, fitness companion, and now even as a microscope.

Meet Diple, a Kickstarter campaign from SmartMicroOptics, is a portal kit that transforms your regular smartphone into a powerful microscope. The makers claim this simple and compact kit is capable of zooming into 1000x without any pixelation and seeing details of less than 1 micron in size. The kit, made with metal, can survive a 10m fall and still work seamlessly.

With a successful experience of hitting $82000 in funding (at the time of writing), which is around 300% of their goal, Diple is not the first project that SMO has their hands on. Previously, back in 2016, SMO had made BLIPS, which were stick-on smartphone microscopes, however, it didn’t offer the details and magnifications as Diple does.

Diple has three magnifying lenses to choose from.

Diple objective lenses

  • DIPLE RED: This lens provides a 35x real magnification and up to 200x digital magnification with a resolution of 3 microns and a field of view of around 1mm and can be used to observe cells and micro-organisms like protozoans, rotifers, and water bears.
  • DIPLE GREY: With a resolution of 1 micron, this grey lens can provide 75x real magnification, and up to 500x digital magnification, which allows observing bacteria, cells, and protozoans.
  • DIPLE BLACK: This one is the most powerful of all three, with a resolution of 0.7/0.8 micron, can provide 150x real magnification and up to 1000x digitally enhanced magnification, and allows viewers to observe inner cell details.

These various versions of lenses allow exploring the microscopic world on the go. Whether be it for research, education, or just for fun, especially for the kids who are always curious and eager to learn.

How does Diple works?

Diple comes in a modular rectangular box packing a light source, a stage for the samples, a microscope and slides, and a sturdy plate to accommodate an optical system. The way Diple works is, you need to place your smartphone camera on the top of the box in a way that the camera focuses on the lighting hole. And with the help of a magnetic guide, the objective lens and the light source are automatically placed in a proper position. In order to control the scanning process across the magnified image, you’ll have to use the DIPLE app, and the produced images and videos can be directly saved to the smartphone in HD.

The microscope kit features two different sample stages; the first is a standard stage and the other is a fine stage. The standard stage has simple mechanical support for the samples where you’ll have to slide manually for scanning whereas the fine stage employs mechanical screws to shift the slide precisely for scanning.

Pricing and Availability

Diple comes in multiple package choices and the prices are set accordingly. The early birds, for a pledge of $40, get a kit of a 35x Diple Red and a standard stage, however, the same kit is priced for $49 for the late backers, both delivered in May 2020.

And for a kit packing all three lenses will cost as much as $120 and also ship May 2020 onwards. Only the $488 “5 Pack” package is set for June 2020 shipping date.