Smartphone clip-on turns your iPhone into a high-powered microscope

Image: nurugo micro

From app developers to accessories makers, the world has turned the iPhone into a kind of digital Swiss knife that can do nearly anything.

Now a new startup wants to add scientific research to that list by transforming the smartphone into a working microscope.

Image: nurugo micro

The Nurugo Micro is an attachment that you connect to your smartphone that effectively puts a 400x microscope in your pocket.

In addition to the high-resolution images possible with the device, you can also use it to record video of the tiny creepy crawlies lurking all around us that require a microscope to see.

Examples of the Nurugo Micro’s ability to capture microscopic images.

Image: Nurugo micro

Aside from its small footprint — it only weights 0.14 ounces and is just 0.5 centimeters thick — the best thing about the Nurugo Micro is that it doesn’t require a battery. In order to enhance the Nurugo Micro’s visual accuracy, the device uses a Lightguide in combination with your smartphone’s existing LED camera flash.

As for what you can actually do with the images you capture with the attachment, that’s up to your sciency brain to figure out.

Introduced at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and launched as a Kickstarter campaign, the Nurugo Micro has already raised over $160,000 of its $60,000 goal, and the campaign still has 10 days to go.

Designed to work with both iPhones and Samsung Galaxy series smartphones (including the new S7 and S7 Edge, see video above), the company is selling the device for $39 and plans to begin shipping it to backers in May.