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Miracle Magnifier Preview
game: Miracle Magnifier
posted by: Shawn Rider
date posted: 09:10 AM Mon May 5th, 2003
last revision: 06:50 AM Fri Sep 23rd, 2005

Bassemada has created a solution for folks wanting a little more out of their display without investing in a whole new monitor. Anyone who has done a little research knows that magnifying technologies are expensive. A magnifying glass the size of a computer monitor does not come cheap, and even little ones cost a pretty penny. The computer technologies for magnifying parts of the screen for low-vision computer users also leave a lot to be desired. They can stress resources on an older computer, and they often don\'t quite work the way we\'d like them to. Keeping all of that in mind, Bassemada has come up with a solution that is great for those who truly need magnification for their monitors and those who just want a tripped-out new way to look at their favorite games.

The Bassemada Miracle Magnifier is a work in progress. We were lucky to get a hold of one of the most recent versions, and we had a blast trying it out. The key to keeping the Miracle Magnifier well-priced and accessible is Bassemada\'s use of a convex lens filled with water. When empty, the lens looks like any other plexiglass window, but when filled it becomes a formidable magnifying glass that fits up to a 19\" monitor. It can increase the visual size of the monitor by 40%, meaning it will make a 15\" monitor look like a 21\" monitor.

The best thing about the Miracle Magnifier is that it magnifies the whole screen, not just a particular section. Most assistance programs for low-vision computer users only magnify a set area of the screen, leaving some users poking around their computer to find the right sector, often a problem when viewing unpredictable websites. The Miracle Magnifier helps considerably with that \"random access\" mode of computer usage.

The Miracle Magnifier is also being billed as a fun accessory for gaming, and it could be. The magnification causes a slight distortion which is easy to get used to, but which also creates a bizarre space-bending effect in games. Especially in space simulators, the Miracle Magnifier can enhance the illusion of depth, not quite mimicking true 3D visuals, but inhabiting some kind of middle ground. In our tests we found that the altered visuals could be very appealing.

Of course, at this stage the Miracle Magnifier is not quite ready for prime time. The early units are being sold at http://www.bassemada.com for $39.95, but I only recommend a purchase of one of these if you are desperate for cheap and effective magnification. However, given the development turnaround we\'ve seen so far from Bassemada, I expect these issues will be completely worked out for the product\'s official launch, planned for Fall 2003. Keep an eye out for this great way to enhance your screen space without breaking your pocketbook.