Handheld electronic magnifiers are amazing tools that provide users with clear digital magnification for reading, writing, and more. Within them is software which allows users to adjust the contrast and colors of whatever they are better trying to see. Below is a video demonstrating a handheld electronic magnifier.


How to turn a smartphone or tablet into a handheld digital magnifier

1. A smartphone or tablet is needed; it can be new, old, or slightly used – it just needs a working camera and screen. Smartphones and tablets have been around long enough that accessing a used one from a family, friend, group, or organization is fairly common. (In fact, right now IPAT has several iPods and iPad 2s available for free to North Dakota residents with disabilities through our device reutilization program!)

Note: The device’s camera and screen will impact the clarity of what user’s are trying to see. The higher megapixels and resolution the better.

2. On the device, download your favorite magnifier app or learn to use the device’s camera to magnify. My favorite magnification app is the Visor app. It is $1.99 and can be downloaded from your device’s app store. The app is available for both iOS and Android supporting devices. It is simple to use, learn, and has the ability to change text-color and background to better meet the user’s needs.

Really, this is all you need to use a smartphone or tablet as a digital magnifier! 

Lets take this a step further and build a cardboard magnifier stand!

In under an hour, using a sturdy piece of cardboard, duct tape, velcro, box cutter, ruler, and pencil I was able to build my iPhone 6 a magnifier stand to use with the Visor app. Using a magnifier stand, devices are held still for reading and users do not need to hold their device for prolonged amounts of time.