Back in August last year we wrote a small guide on how to turn your smartphone into a 3D holographic projector. We continue with DIY smartphone repurposing tricks, this time showing you how to transform your phone into a pocket CSI lab.

It is hard to imagine that there is anybody out there today that hasn’t heard of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series which have been running for more than 15 years. Starting with the original series based in Las Vegas, the show has grown into a franchise with two more spin-offs. CSI: Miami, and CSI: New York, where the first one has birthed the so Horatio Cane YEEAAAAH meme.

Horatio Caine

The Microscope

For those of you who watched the show, you have surely noticed the sometimes surreal techniques that the main characters use on their path to solving a case. From zooming a heavy pixelated image to see a plate number or a reflection in the mirror, to extracting DNA from a piece of plastic that was previously soaked in acid for 5 years and burnt in a furnace for 3 days. Though not everything is exaggerated, a lot of it is.

If you like cop dramas, you will like CSI, as it is basically just another cop show but with a lot of high tech. One of the most basic tools they use in their investigations, and a tool you have probably seen in your school biology days is a microscope.

Though many modern smartphones have quite powerful cameras, they are not capable of zooming like a microscope, not even like the basic light-powered kind. However, with some minor adjustments to your phone’s camera lens, you will be able to see some of bigger cells and microorganisms. It is very simple and you won’t have to open, unscrew or glue up your device, all you need is a cheap pet laser toy, as seen in the video below.

Smartphone Digital Microscopeحول هاتفك إلى ميكروسكوب إلكتروني

Posted by ‎المعلم‎ on Saturday, August 1, 2015

The UV Light

Once Horatio and his team hit the field, they carry a wide array of gadgets with them. From talc powder for print collection to lasers for calculating projectile trajectories. However, one of their most commonly used tools can sometimes become an unpleasant inconvenience. If you haven’t guessed it, it’s the black light, also known as UV-A light. Though invisible to the naked eye, UV light is used to expose other invisible things, which shine with a fluorescent glow when when placed under UV. In most cases, those invisible things in the show are bodily fluids.

Most smartphones priced above the $100 range have a flash installed at their back, right next to the camera. The hack to turn your phone into a black light flashlight is also simple and even cheaper than the previous one. You also won’t have to open, unscrew or glue anything, all you need is some transparent tape, and blue and purple sharpies, as seen in the video below.

Black light

Posted by I’m happy on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Final words

So, powered with your new high-tech tools, just like the guys from CSI, you’ll have no trouble finding out who’s been stealing your lunch from the fridge, by scoping epithelial cells they left on the door handle, as well as DNA traces. Wondering which one of your pets chewed on your brand new shoes? Wonder no more, get sleuthing. OK, maybe not all of that, but you will surely have a lot of fun, as long as you mind where you point that black light.

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Posted by Marcus Jensen

Marcus is an Australian IT support professional. He’s running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. In his free time he enjoys SciFi books and movies.

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