SkyLight's adapter makes your smartphone a microscope
SkyLight's eponymous adapter mounts on a microscope and lets users magnify things such as flowers, insects, and pathogens with their smartphone and a microscope. SmartPlanet visits SkyLight co-founders Andy Miller and Tess Bakke to get a hands-on with the device.
>> Sumi Das: What happens when you mix a smart phone with a microscope? The answer, say Andy Miller and Tess Bakke, is SkyLight. The duo started designing the microscope mount a couple of years ago while students in college.
>> Andy Miller: SkyLight was born to be an enabling device, so now people can look at a microscope, and they can think, what can I do with a microscope and a smart phone.
>> Sumi Das: Just attach the base to the microscope and slide in the phone.
>> Tess Bakke: It's sized to hold basically any cell phone. These clips allow it to move in the x and y direction, and then the z direction, you can move it up and down with the C-clamp.
>> Sumi Das: With the smart phone's camera and internet connection, users are then able to capture microscopic images and transmit them via email or on the web. Miller says they've tested the mount on hundreds of microscopes and smart phones and adds, anyone can use it, whether you're a student or a scientist.
>> Andy Miller: We've looked at food salt, and it looks amazing, or we've looked at just regular insects or flowers that you pick, totally look different. And then there are also some really important things that you can look at under the microscope. So we can look at blood cells, and we can look at pathogens.
>> Sumi Das: But haven't we seen this before? UC Berkeley scientist invented a cell phone microscope in 2010, and UCLA and UC Davis also have their own versions, but Miller and Bakke say their patent-pending SkyLight adaptor is unique because it doesn't use any optics. Nothing is in between the phone and the microscope.
>> Andy Miller: It's simply a mount that clips onto the eyepiece of a microscope and moves the cell phone around.
>> Sumi Das: This makes it possible for the mount to work with practically any smart phone and microscope, no matter the magnification. Miller believes a significant benefit will come in the developing world where there's a lack of healthcare professionals.
>> Andy Miller: That's the limiting factor in accessing healthcare in those places, so SkyLight is one way where you can connect patients to healthcare providers that don't have to be near by. They can be far away.
>> Sumi Das: Miller and Bakke are in production on the device and plan to sell it for $60. For SmartPlant, I'm Sumi Das.