Perhaps one of the most remarkable scientific technologies of all time, the microscope provides the power to observe our miraculous microscopic world.
Many educational institutions lack the opportunity to utilize digital microscopy without access to funding. These challenging circumstances force students to rely on written descriptions and hand-drawn imaging to depict their microscopic data. And for those institutions that do have access to funds, the learning curve for using traditional microscopic equipment can be a frustrating experience.
The modern microscope is a complex optical instrument. Despite digital advances, the microscope has remained relatively similar in design since its development nearly 400 years ago. The smartphone, however, is arguably the pinnacle of modern technology, merging a portable computer with a high-resolution digital camera.
At Open Ocular, we’ve taken the science behind traditional microscopy and merged it with an accessible smartphone imaging adaptor that produces high-quality microscopic images with widescale educational applications.
With nearly a decade in smartphone adaptor design, our mission is to provide schools with optical solutions using 3D print design. This flexibility allows educational institutions to produce custom adapters minus the typical manufacturing costs for parts. We removed barriers to entry by designing adaptors that connect to existing lenses, with no requirement for additional lenses.
I understand the impact digital microscopes have on science literacy. I dreamed of being a biologist my whole life but feared it wasn’t possible due to learning challenges. During my time in the military, I used microscopes on duty for electronics and at home as an amateur scientist. Later, I attended college and developed a smartphone adapter as part of a design project because it was a problem I wished to solve. It wasn’t until I shared my plan with the biology department that I realized the potential impact for students in microscopy. See Designs
-Josue Gimbernard, Founder
The widescale application of the smartphone microscope adaptor is vast. Perhaps the most significant impact is its ability to engage students. Removing the barriers of traditional use microscopes—cost, user engagement, and functionality—makes the OpenOcular smartphone adaptor invaluable.
By combining UX design with cost-effective functionality, the OpenOcular smartphone adaptor is a highly effective, multi-disciplinary educational tool for exploring a diversity of digital microscopy.