When it comes to photographing stars or birds in the distance, most people don’t think of launching their iPhone’s camera app. A new startup is aiming to change that.
The startup, Arcturus Labs, is developing a gadget called Magnifi that attaches an iPhone to just about any lens. It allows users to take iPhone photos through microsocopes, telescopes or binoculars.
Magnifi’s recently married co-founders Xianne and Isaac Penny have raised more than $13,000 on Kickstarter to fund the product, which they say will eventually retail for about $80.
Microscope camera adapters generally cost between $30 and $100 — but they aren’t as slick as Magnifi. The gadget is essentially an iPhone case that can be attached to a lens with a small adapter piece.
Because you’re taking photos with your phone, they’re automatically available for cropping and sharing.
It’s easy to see where the pair got the idea for the lightweight photo adapter: Xianne is a post-doctoral fellow in Pathology; Isaac is a medical device engineer and amateur astronomer.
But Magnifi is not the first Kickstarter project that involves attaching smartphones to magnifying lenses.
A project called Skylight, which reached its funding goal in January, is a smartphone attachment for microscopes. It lets users take photos of diagnostic slides and send them to doctors for analysis.
Magnifi has a wider target demographic than Skylight (and yes, the names are confusing.) Magnifi’s creators suggest birdwatchers, whale watchers, cruise patrons, scientists, astronomers and doctors may find a use for the product.
What would you want to photograph with Magnifi? Let us know in the comments.