Tiny, light, easy to use, versatile with long working distance, compatible with iPhone camera while affordable to every budget.
- Larger working distance ~ 4mm: Versatile for different objects
- Larger field of view ~5mm: Good to observe "large" micro-objects
- Larger depth of field ~0.5mm: Easy to get clear image
- Excellent resolution power: Down to 5 micron
- Extremely easy to use: "Plug and Play" and easy to focus with focus ring
- Extremely low profile and weight: Size on a finger tip and Only 0.5 gram (~1/60 oz)
- Extremely low cost and easy to carry: Credit size PP case
- iMicro C
- μRuler M
- App i-Seeing
- Focus ring
- Reflecting pad
- Instruction sheet
- Thin PP case
Pictures taken with iMicro C
Key features of iMicro C
- Well designed magnification power and Large field of view
Different from our first fingertip microscope (iMicro Q), iMicro C has been designed with relative low magnification power, so it has a larger field of view of about 5mm so that it is very good to observe some "large" micro-objects, such as small insects and tiny mechanical/electronic parts.
- Long working distance and Large DOF
Different from iMicro Q with very high magnification power and very short working distance, iMicro C has a long working distance of about ~4mm. So it can be used to observe objects that iMicro Q can not access to, such as SMT parts on PCB, defects inside of a crystal and something behind glass window. As shown it is snail eggs on the inner surface of a aquarium, shot through glass wall of the aquarium.
It is also easy to obtain clear image, as it has larger DOF (depth of field). Roughly a 0.5mm DOF was obtained on the tilted ruler at 45 degree.
- Resolution down to 5 micron
The USAF 1951 resolution test chart (defined by the U.S. Air Force MIL-STD-150A standard of 1951) was used to test the resolution of iMicro C on an iPhone 7. It can distinguish the finest pattern of group 6 (4.38 micron). This is really excellent provided its relative low magnification.
- Easy to focus
Smartphone microscope is different from comprehensive desktop microscope, it is not able to introduce bulk and expensive focus tuning system. But we find alternative solution for focusing and easy operation. A focus ring can be used to assist focus to obtain clear image easily. Also when not using focus ring, it is best practice to put phone against a desktop surface and tilt it to adjust focus with increased stability.
- Extremely low profile
The microscope itself is only 12 mm (1/2 inch) and weighs only 0.5 gram (1/60 oz). All the parts are packed in a thin case of the size a credit card with only 5mm thickness.
- Works with any camera phone
iMicro C will be coupled with your iPhone by nano-pad. It is designed to work with any phone with camera. No matter for phones with single back camera or multiple back camera, with a flat camera(s) or extruded camera(s), We have not yet found exception. Please see the picture for your reference to see how it looks with different camera configuration.
- Extremely low cost
Traditional desktop microscope is very expensive, while fingertip microsocpe is affordable for every one. We want every child can have a microscope to explore the world.
Principle and development process
- How it works
For traditional compound microscopes, the magnification mainly relies on its complex optical system, which includes objective and eyepiece. Its magnification is a combination of the magnification of objective and eyepiece.
For our fingertip microscope, three stages of magnification are combined together to achieve the total magnification. First, the lens provides optical magnification to generate the image on the smartphone camera's sensor; second, the image on the sensor is displayed on the much larger screen via the electronic process and magnification; third, digital zoom provides further magnification as a digital magnification to the image. The total magnification is a combination of these three.
Therefore, iMicro C uses a different process and technology compared to a traditional microscope. Thanks to the advance of micro-optics and smartphone technology, with the effort and expertise accumulated in the past years, we have enabled iMicro C to achieve excellent performance at a low cost.
- Development path and process
We walked a long path for the development of smartphone based microscopic tools since the first patent in 2012. We have already successfully built a series of smartphone microscope product including iMICROSCOPE, iMICROSCOPE R and the μRuler as well as the first fingertip microscope iMicro Q.
Based on these successfully projects, we shaped the initial idea of Fingertip microscope and polished it according to the great support and comments from our backers and customers. We optimized The optics as well as the design and each step was proofed with prototype to achieve the best performance.
- The structured detail
The final finished version has a structure that uses a flexible transparent focusing ring which can be installed and removed on the diffusing ring, as shown in the figure.
The key techniques to achieve its high performance
- Dedicated optics: aspherical micro-lens
The lens is the key component of the system. A small ball lens (van Leeuwenhoek) is a simple approach. But it is well known to suffer from a very limited usable field of view due to severe field curvature effects as well as spherical and other aberrations. iMicro C uses aspherical lens with a dedicated design, to achieve its high optical performance.
- Seamless coupling with smartphone: Nano-pad attachment
Different from conventional adhesive, the nano suction pad mimics gecko's foot-pads, it has thousands of micro air pockets functioning like micro suction cups to hold the device to the phone. Every time it is applied and removed it leaves nothing on the phone. This newly developed "nano suction pad" is residue-free, non-tacky and repeatable. The use of nano-suction pad has been proofed in our previous product and it is repeatable and easily be cleaned by a PSA tape.
- Precise focus control: automatic + manual focus
Every smartphone now has an auto-focus function. When iMicro C is coupled with smartphone, this automatic focus function also works. When you point the lens at an object and get it within proper working distance, the phone will automatically focus to obtain a clear image.
- μRuler and Dedicated App: for professional needs
A high quality μRuler (stage micrometer) will be provided (as an option) with iMicro C to calibrate the scale-bar in APP and measure size. Please see our previous campaign μRuler - A micro-Ruler to measure the micro objects for more information.
It is important to keep a scale-bar and ensure its accuracy on a micrograph. The dedicated APP i-Seeing was designed to take micrographs to meet professional demand. The scale-bar on the micrograph could be toggled on/off to let you embed a scale-bar on the image if you’d like.
- Both ambient and flash illumination
As the iMicro C has a longer working distance, it is able to use ambient or artificial light to illuminate the objects, also the flash light is easy as the addition of a light source. So there are more options and the flexibility to control the light to obtain the desired effect.
How to use it?
The iMicro C has been designed to be simple for everyone to use. No complex knobs and adjustment: just align it with phone's camera, attach it to the phone and then point at the sample or any interesting things you would like to see.