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Project Turns Old Smartphones Into 2,500 Microscopes for Schools

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smartphone transformed into a portable digital microscope

The Smart Lens kit taps a smartphone's camera to create a medium magnification digital microscope.

Credit: Chulalongkorn University

Chulalongkorn University, in cooperation with Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, will retrofit 2,500 old smartphones and turn them into digital microscopes. The microscopes will be donated to marginal schools throughout Thailand as part of the "2,500 Microscopes from Old Cell Phones for Marginal Schools" project.

Five-hundred smartphones donated by Thai Samsung Electrics Co. Ltd. in November will incorporate CU Smart Lens technology invented by Professor Sanong Akasit of Chulalongkorn's Department of Chemistry. The Smart Lens kit can transform a smartphone into a medium magnification (20-to-50x) portable digital microscope.

The project was created to promote equal access to quality education for students across Thailand while reusing old equipment.

From Chulalongkorn University
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