We recently added a new Smartphone optics product to our offerings: A 2m Endoscope that plugs right into the Android’s Micro-USB port!
Designed for the Android and perhaps other micro-USB based smartphones (iPhones may not work with this due to the purely charging nature of their Lightning ports), this endoscope has an LED lit end, a micro-USB and regular USB port (so it can work with laptops), can work in multiple resolutions, and can take pictures or even video.
So we figured we would try it out!
First thing to note: We did not use the suggested imaging app. There was a bar code you can scan on the box that links to the official app, but loading that was something my phone was not comfortable with and blocked it. I did not want to mess with the security settings to get the official app so I simply typed ‘Endoscope’ into the Google Play Store and plenty of apps came up. We started using one called MScopes, which operated the Endoscope just fine but wouldn’t let us use the images without going to the pro version, so we elected to use an app called Scopecam.
Several small accessories are included with the Endoscope: a thread-on 90-degree mirror:
Three other pieces are included, presumably for mounting the endoscope. Wasn;t sure how they operated and didn’t want to waste too much time.
Once the app is launched, operation is fairly straightforward and intuitive. We even had time for a bit of recursion fun when we point the camera at the phone screen:
We then set out to find things to investigate with our Endoscope. We lack much in the way of crevices, and putting the camera into the heating vent revealed nothing but inside-of-a-vent. So I elected to send the camera behind the store computer to see if what was plugged in, or wasn’t.
Or the sound inputs
The illuminated head was 7mm wide so, we could not stick it through the tiny air vents of the computer.
Obviously this item is *not* rated for medical use, so any use on living biological tissue should be avoided.
Focusing was a bit tricky, as the camera was designed to have a huge wide-angle and so you would have a very large working distance When using this Endoscope you really need to know what you are looking for if you need focused imagery, but this is not very surprising for a pinhole style of camera.
But for just around $30 you can transform your smartphone into an optical investigation tool. You just can’t beat that!
Want to see other smartphone and electronics tools?