Blips, turning smartphones into microscopes

By August 3, 2018technology

Would you carry around a microscope if it could fit in your pocket?

What if we could transform the one object that’s always at our fingertips into a microscope? Blips, a spin-off of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, invented a set of low-cost macro lenses on extra thin film that can be applied via adhesive to your smartphone camera.

There are a myriad of applications for such powerful and portable tools. Blips developed four different lens models to choose from: Macro, Macro Plus, Micro and Ultra. The latter two are so powerful that they need to be used with a support to stabilize the smartphone, enabling you to even see blood cells and their shape, enabling you to verify the presence of certain pathologies, making it possible to screen in places where there is no conventional microscope.

There are a myriad of applications for such powerful and portable tools. Blips developed four different lens models to choose from: Macro, Macro Plus, Micro and Ultra. The latter two are so powerful that they need to be used with a support to stabilize the smartphone, enabling you to even see blood cells and their shape, enabling you to verify the presence of certain pathologies, making it possible to screen in places where there is no conventional microscope.

Blips started collaborating with doctors in the field of dermatological remote consultations. Dr. Andrea Antonini, founder and CEO explains: “The photographs help during the pre-screening phase, in particular for some pathologies, people are hesitant to go to the doctor. For example, sexually transmitted diseases, screening for moles, or in the case of pediatric diseases and dermatitis.” The lenses have an educational value as well, providing schools with microscopes at low cost.