Tiny microscope lets you see the smallest-ever inkjet prints

Scrona's phone-controlled uPeek can zoom into just about anything, including a record-setting inkjet print.

No, that's not an up-close look at a monitor. That's the world's tiniest color inkjet image made large, and you may not need it blown up to see it in the future -- if you're willing to lay down some cash. In a hybrid of scientific discovery and publicity stunt, Scrona and ETH Zurich have used nano-sized quantum dots to print a clown fish picture measuring just 0.000014 square inches across, setting a Guinness World Record for the smallest color inkjet image to date. You need a good microscope just to see it, in fact... and conveniently, Scrona is working on just that.

The company is crowdfunding the µPeek, a card-sized microscope that you control through your smartphone. It can zoom between 35X and 350X, depending on your phone, and it's capable of brightfield, darkfield and (in the Blue model) fluorescence microscopy. It currently takes a pledge of $135 or more to get one in June, but the fun comes when you drop $295 or more: Scrona will print your own text or image at the micron scale, so you'll always have something special to look at. Sure, the personal micro-picture isn't that practical, but the microscope should still be useful if you have any budding biologists at home.

[Image credit: Scrona/ETH Zurich]