CA – The SkyLight – an
inexpensive and intuitive adapter that connects any smartphone to any
microscope – debuted last week on the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter.
WHAT IT IS
The SkyLight enables smartphone cameras to capture photos and videos for
uploading, e-mailing, and sharing on the web and social media sites, as well as
for real-time viewing on the smartphone screen or via video-conferencing
software. The SkyLight is the first of its kind, as there is no other
commercially available device that attaches any smartphone to any microscope.
The SkyLights universal compatibility allows previously owned technology
(microscopes) to be upgraded to the digital age with the use of a widely
available technology (smartphones) – good for global health, science
classrooms, and everyone else.
HOW IT WORKS
The SkyLight works by holding a smartphone camera steady over the eyepiece of a
microscope precisely where the image from the microscope is formed. The
SkyLight has been designed to be very intuitive – one can simply slide any
smartphone into position and lock it in place.
HOW ITS BUILT
The SkyLight is made from lightweight plastics so the entire device weighs only
4.9 ounces (less than an iPhone!). The stage that holds the smartphone is made
of a rigid, translucent plastic (polycarbonate). The base and clips are made of
a durable plastic (polypropelene) that can withstand flexing over and over
The SkyLight will have a big social impact and make a tangible difference
in individuals’ lives. And it stands to do so through elegantly simple
means – by enabling people to use technology already at their disposal in new
ways. For example, for the health worker in Malawai, Africa,
the SkyLight will enable circa 1980 microscopes to send diagnostic images to
the nearest doctor, who may be separated by a great distance. For the middle
school classroom, the SkyLight will empower students to approach microscopes,
an age-old technology, as a digital device. Sharing images, either with their
friends and teachers in real-time on the smartphone screen or after class with
their friends on Facebook, adds a totally new element to the science classroom.
The designers of the SkyLight are dedicated to making a difference through
design, and have created the “5 to 1 Promise”, a pledge to donate one SkyLight
for every five SkyLights that are purchased.
In support of the SkyLight, Proto Labs – a leading online and
technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of low-volume CNC machined and
injection molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production -will
award the project a Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award, providing free injection
molding tooling and parts, if the Kickstarter financial goal is met.
ABOUT THE DESIGNERS
Andy is passionate about design and passionate about making the world a better
place. In the past, Andy studied Bioengineering and global health at Rice University
working with Rice 360. He also studied industrial design at the Institutuo di
Diseno in Barcelona, Spain. While at Rice, Andy
designed an award-winning ruggedized and portable microscope for developing
countries, which was featured on CNN and in the New York Times.
Tess studied Geology at University of California
Santa Cruz. She currently lives, works, and plays
in Oakland, CA.
Product Website – http://www.skylightscope.com/
Posted by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT