BLIPS: Mini Photo Lenses for Your Smartphone

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BLIPS: Mini Photo Lenses for Your Smartphone

A brilliant new photography product by SmartMicroOptics called BLIPS is bringing us “the world’s thinnest set of microscope lenses for smartphones and tablets,” allowing anyone who owns a smartphone to create professional-quality macro photography down to 1/7000 of an inch.

The two BLIPS mini lenses act sort of like a laser pointer lens for your phone. “The tiny objective lens electrostatically adheres to your smartphone camera, enhancing its optical power and allowing a perfect distinction of microscope details,” SmartMicroOptics writes in its Kickstarter campaign, which raised nearly $200,000 in crowdsourced funding.

The company says it created two lenses for two different purposes: BLIPS macro, “for total magnification of about ten times for high definition images of the most diverse subjects,” and an ultra-powerful micro lens, “perfect to observe the tiniest of details and represents a first step into the realm of microscopy.”


Conceived in a research lab and based on technology from the Italian Institute of Technology, the wallet-sized, paper-thin lenses are innovative yet affordable at $23 – $46, rendering DIY micro and macro lens hacks cumbersome and add ons unnecessarily expensive. Plus, if you opt for BLIPS micro, the lens is powerful enough to capture single cells (“or other inhabitants of the micro-world”), so long as you keep a distance of at least ¼ inch from the sample.


It’s hard to argue the coolness of these lenses. You can pre-order your BLIPS smartphone lenses at We might just order a few to try out for ourselves!