TECH

This Is A £1 Microscope For Your iPhone

19/09/2014 11:36 BST | Updated 19/09/2014 11:59 BST

Ok so it doesn't cost £1, it actually costs much much less, in fact we're actually talking pennies. This tiny clip-on microscope was created by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and can be created in minutes with a 3D printer.

All you need is the plastic, a tiny glass bead and the schematics which you can download from PNNL's website here.

The microscope will clip onto most smartphones including the iPhone 4, 5 and Galaxy S4 and S5.

iphone microscope

PNNL has schematics for 100x, 350x and 1000x however for amateurs like us it recommends that you start small as it turns out that taking usable pictures at 1000x is actually pretty difficult.

The site explains that due to the invention of new technologies they were able to fill the pretty demanding brief that they'd been set by the Department of Homeland Security.

"Using glass spheres as a microscope lens is not a new idea, optically, but the small size of the housing combined with very high magnification and extremely low cost is what makes this device practical."

The initial reason for creating this tiny device was to help 'first responders' so officials who have to arrive at a situation with little to know equipment and still make informed decisions.

The microscope would enable them to make basic evaluations on unknown substances without needing huge expensive pieces of equipment.