The Dotlens – Making your Smartphone Smarter


I remember the first time I was introduced to a microscope, I was instantly intrigued, and wanted to “magnify” absolutely everything I could get my hands on. Some of it was spectacular, other things? Well, let’s just say I will never be able to un-see them. But all in all, the ability to see the world around me in such detail was wondrous, and something everyone should be able to experience, and the Dotlens may just be the gadget that brings that experience home.

Check out the Dotlens, a brand new optical lens that can simply be placed on almost any smartphone (or tablet) to super-magnify images, and provide students, hobbyists, and even clinics, with a nifty low-cost alternative to expensive, and bulky, traditional microscopes. This lens has the ability to magnify images by a magnitude of 120 (think zoom-factor) and it costs pennies a lens to manufacture. The lens slips directly onto your smartphone, and needs no additional equipment. Its simplicity makes it perfect for use with younger kids, and for scientists of any age.

The lens is made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which is a polymer with the consistency of honey, which is poured onto a preheated surface to cure. The magnification properties of the lenses depend on how long (and at what temperature) the PDMS is “cooked.” The lenses are flexible, and are a bit thicker, and smaller, than your everyday soft contact lens, they stick directly onto your smartphone, and are easily detached after use, leaving no residue behind.

This new lens makes it easy to share images by email or text, and the uses range from fun and educational, to potentially life saving. The lens is compatible with almost all smartphones and tablets, and can be used again, and again. So, if you’re interested, head on over to and get in on the crowdfunding campaign that will get these lenses into your hands, and into the hands of budding scientists everywhere. Starting at 10 bucks.


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