iPhone as microscope and spectrometer

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Steve Jobs founder of Apple died yesterday, which has created a wave of sadness around the world.  Steve job’s vision was key in developing and launching iPod, iPhone and iPad. KAH team would like to pay homage to Steve Jobs and legacy of innovative products he has given to the world.

There were speculations of release of iPhone 5, but Apple launched iPhone 4S, which looks similar to iPhone 4 with some internal advancements. Apple has integrated following features in iPhone 4S:

  • Faster A4 processor, better batteries, bigger 64GB of storage
  • Dual antenna to reach 4G speed with power drian
  • 8 MP camera having capability to capture 1080p HD video with “real-time video image stabilization.”
  • Siri personal iPhone assistant , turns your iPhone into an interactive computer you can talk to.
  • iCloud launching on 12 Oct, which allows your music, photos, apps, contacts and pretty much everything else exists in one place competing with Amazon and Google.

Wonderful deployment of iPhone 4S
Researchers from the University of California can utilize iPhone 4S as high-quality medical imaging and chemical detection devices. By adding some hardware and maximising the capability of the iPhone, they were able to transform it into a microscopy and spectroscopy tool. The microscope feature is being validated and the researchers plan to improve the basic concept as well, like using other lenses and different software to make it useful for different applications in a variety of clinical cases. The spectrometer is still in its early stages

Microscope Feature
Using 5x magnification ball lenses (1 millimeter-diameter) and the high resolution of the camera’s semiconductor sensor, the iPhone microscope could distinguish features on the order of 1.5 microns. This is small enough to see different types of blood cells. To obtain a good image, the researchers had to use digital image processing software to correct for distortion caused by the ball lenses. The images are not as sharp as those obtained with commercially available lab microscopes, but they can be of use where regular microscopes are not available. The team used ball lenses i.e. finely ground glass spheres that act as low-powered magnifying glasses. The team used a 1-millimeter-diameter ball lens that costs $30-40 USD in their prototype, but mass-produced lenses...



could be substituted to reduce the price.

To build the microscope’s lens, Kaiqin Chu, a post-doctoral researcher in optics, inserted a ball lens into a hole in a rubber sheet, then simply taped the sheet over the smartphone’s camera.

Spectrometer Feature
Spectrometers smear out light from an object, separating it into its composite wavelengths in much the way a prism breaks up white light in the familiar colors of the rainbow. Since atoms and molecules absorb very specific wavelengths when exposed to light, it is possible to tease out the chemical signature of materials by studying their spectra.

Like the microscope, the iPhone’s spectrometer takes advantage of smartphone imaging capabilities.

To make the spectrometer, the researchers used plastic tubes covered with black tape, in which they made a narrow slit. This way only parallel beams of light are captured. With the spectrometer feature they plan to measure quantities of oxygen in the blood and provide help spotting chemical markers of diseases.

The microscope feature is being validated and the researchers plan to improve the basic concept as well, like using other lenses and different software to make it useful for different applications in a variety of clinical cases. The spectrometer is still in its early stages.

The iPhone is being transformed into a diagnostic tool, which would become very handy for developing countries, wherein diagnostic tool may not be available in remote areas.  We are excited about the recent developments and look forward for more advancements.

Via

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4 Responses


  1. Just what else are they going to think, huh? :P I love iPhone!!!
    And I recently found some naughty applications for iPhone here: reviewz.tumblr.com

  2. Nelia says:


    To think, I was conesufd a minute ago.

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