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Not your grandpa’s microscope: How microscopes went from school to cool

Jun 4, 2020

It’s a hot September day and you’re not quite ready to be back in school, let alone begin high school. Alas, freshman biology is here and you’re due for your first lab. The teacher rolls out the school’s microscope collection. Maybe it’s the fact that you got the infamous broken microscope, or the fact that you’re crouching over too-short tables, but your first experience with microscopes is less than ideal. Broken promises — nothing like NCIS. At least that’s how it used to be. Modern-day microscopes have matured quite a bit since you may have last used one, and they come pre-loaded with some features that a teenager might actually describe as “cool” or whatever the latest synonym is. Here are three features of modern-day microscopes that will make you want to dive back into the world of microscopy.

Digital and Shareable Images

Digital imaging isn’t new, but it’s never been as easy or as interactive. Models like the Leica EZ4W and EZ4E allow for interactive learning via AirTeach, a mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices. This feature allows you to work with live image thumbnail overviews of all connected microscopes, share up to four images in class, or switch to a PowerPoint presentation to vary teaching content. Discover details in natural colors with up to 5.0MP capture resolution and 1080p live image. The integrated Wi-Fi camera of the EZ4W is fast and provides crystal clear imaging direct to your Apple or Android device via Leica AirLab app. That’s a whole lot better than everyone taking turns on one microscope, and the fact that you can capture beautiful, high-definition images of your specimens makes virtual learning and research a breeze.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Speaking of Wi-Fi connectivity, some modern-day microscopes can officially be considered “smart” devices. Keeping college or university students engaged in the coursework becomes a lot easier with the Wi-Fi Education Solutions from Leica Microsystems. The EZ4E, as described above, exclusively uses the facilities network (WLAN or LAN) to allow students to connect to the microscope. This is an ideal solution if you don’t want to add additional Wi-Fi access points to your existing wireless network concept. The image output to the students’ viewing devices can be easily controlled using AirTeach, so you have everybody on the same page, all the time.

Intelligent Automation

An often overlooked nuisance of traditional microscopes is the amount of time wasted while trying to re-find the exact location of a region of interest. Modern microscopes like the Leica DM4 B or DM6 B come pre-loaded with an incredible time-saver: Intelligent Automation. Intelligent Automation solves multi-step routines with the press of a button, makes your work life easier, saves time, and allows you to focus on your experiment, not on complex microscope settings. Gone are the frustrating days of searching for yesterday’s region of interest. You’ll work faster and with much more satisfaction with this premium feature.

While there’s certainly something nostalgic about the good ole days, there’s also something refreshing about technology that just works. Innovation in the world of microscopy continues to evolve and make our workflows faster, more efficient, and simply more enjoyable.  For news on the latest and greatest developments in the world microscopy, follow Nuhsbaum on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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