It's hard to believe that the first ever iPhone came out almost a decade ago, in 2007. The device has come a long way since then. Not only has its design changed, but its purpose in our lives and the extent to which we depend on it (and other smartphones) is monumentally different. With smartphones, of course, come smartphone accessories, and there are some pretty tempting ones on the market. This one, however, may actually make an impact.
Tiny Lens is exactly what it sounds like: a tiny lens that you affix to your iPhone camera. The lens allows you to use your iPhone camera as a 15x magnification microscope. Its creators have set up a Kickstarter page with details on the project, which is sure to appeal to the Instagram photographer crowd. (The world isn't ready for the amount of microscopic close-ups of fancy cocktails I'm prepared to take.)
But the company's real goal is to donate Tiny Lenses to underfunded schools that would benefit from microscopes in classrooms. By donating $8 to the Tiny Lens Kickstarter campaign, you will receive one Tiny Lens for yourself and a Tiny Lens will be donated on your behalf to a school that needs it, a la Toms and Warby Parker.
And don't worry about a lack of funding -- with 26 days left to go in the campaign, Tiny Lens has already nearly doubled its original funding goal. Now its inventors must make a mold and start mass distributing their lens. But hopefully they won't just stop at donating to underfunded schools -- after all, this kind of microscope could be immensely useful in other countries where the average person may have access to a phone but not to a microscope. Kudos to the team for trying to inspire a new generation of children with science.