Sometimes people ask me to look at frightfully exciting things.
These normally come via the incomprehensible medium of the press release. However, sometimes I get sent things (in this case, via an e-mail from my louche engineer friend George) describing a new invention that seems positively useful and even vaguely comprehensible.
This thing is called the SkyLight. It allows you to take your iPhone, Android phone, or any other that might still exist and turn it into a microscopic eyepiece for the world.
Its creator is medical designer Andy Miller. He has already designed the Global Focus microscope, a light, cheap fluorescent microscope for developing countries.
However, as he describes in the Kickstarter presentation I have embedded, his aim with the SkyLight is to allow trained medical practitioners to remotely view images from microscopes.
Miller says that almost any microscope--however old--can benefit from having a SkyLight attached to a smartphone in order to transmit excellent, and possibly even life-saving, images.
The device itself seems simple--in the way that comprehensible things often do. It clamps the smartphone camera over the microscope's eyepiece in order to capture the vital (or merely educational) images.
The SkyLight comes with various attachments so that it can be adjusted to any size of eyepiece.
Miller shows in the Kickstarter video that the images can be shared via Face Time or other video conferencing apps.
He has already raised almost $4,000 of the $15,000 he says he needs in order to go into production.
To my layman's eyes, this thing--unlike so many inventions--seems absurdly useful. What's most powerful about the idea, though, is that it's useful to those who might not have the benefits of modern medical technology at their disposal.
If something this simple can capture just one disease in time--thereby saving a life--it will truly make any Jesus phone, well, a little more saintly.