Web cam specialist iRez has a USB Microscope that lets you see exactly how gross things are close up. It’s designed for education, and I can guarantee that kids of all ages will love it. The software allows you to record your adventures in QuickTime, and replay them later. You can also capture stills with the click of a button.
There are different lenses supplied, for images ranging from big to disgustingly detailed. There’s also a cradle to mount the microscope on, so you can aim it at slides. Unlike traditional microscopes, there are lights built into the lenses, so you don’t have to worry about dark slides – but you can look at back-lit objects using the un-lit lens.
The software wasn’t as professional as it should be. It was prone to crash from time to time. I managed to get a newer version of the software that was supplied, which improved things – but it didn’t eliminate crashes entirely.
The iRez USB microscope is a marvel, and it will entertain and educate. The price is a bit off-putting, and I was expecting the software to be more polished, but it’s better than the Intel USB microscope – which is compatible only with Windows. It’s still a great addition to any classroom.