The PMM is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery that the manufacturer says can power your viewing for up to five hours. A USB to mini-USB cable is provided for charging the battery. So what does the battery provide power for? LEDs. There is a ring of white LEDs around the lens to provide lighting for whatever you're looking at. A two-position switch selects one of two sets of six LEDs (one set polarized, the other unpolarized), while the power switch also doubles as an intensity switch.
About the optics: the PMM uses a 20X lens to start off. With the 4X digital zoom on your iOS device, you can get the equivalent of 80X magnification. That's not exactly the type of magnification that is going to show you microbes or individual atoms, but it's impressive enough for a lot of other work. Bodelin points out that the PMM is used in science education, medical and dermatology work, manufacturing quality control, health and beauty, and the ever-important law enforcement and forensics. You think I'm joking about CSI TUAW? Bodelin products have been used on all of the CSI TV show franchises.
On TUAW TV Live, I used the PMM with an iPhone 5 sleeve to look at fingerprints, a 20-pence coin, and components on a faulty Raspberry Pi single-board computer. Using the Reflector app, I was able to beam the image from the iOS camera app to my iMac and then out to the world at large.
Since this hardware uses the iOS Camera app (or any other iOS photography app you choose), you can not only view the magnified image, but also take still photos or video. The gallery below contains images of a US penny, 20X and 80X views of a circuit board, two views of that 20-pence coin, the fine weave on a placemat, my dry skin and some hair (ewww, I need to put lotion on my hands), a printed image, a leaf, and sugar crystals.