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Magnificent Magnification

FYI: Gadget

From skin cells and insect parts to snowflakes and grains of salt or sand, with the cool Micro Phone Lens you can turn any smartphone into a remarkably high-powered handheld microscope for just US$15.

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The brainchild of Seattle, Washington–based mechanical engineer Thomas Larson, the Micro Phone Lens was initially funded by 5,000-plus backers via KickStarter. The 6 mm self-adhering lens fits neatly over the existing photo lens of a smartphone or tablet and offers a base magnification of 15 times and, with a phone zoom, a maximum of 60 times. To capture video clips or stills you just hover the phone or tablet’s photo lens about 0.5 inches (or 1 cm) over an object. Go to microphonelens.com.

Photography by Shutterstock