We present our recent advances in the development of compact, highly portable and inexpensive wide-field interferometric modules. By a smart design of the interferometric system, including the usage of low-coherence illumination sources and common-path off-axis geometry of the interferometers, spatial and temporal noise levels of the resulting quantitative thickness profile can be sub-nanometric, while processing the phase profile in real time. In addition, due to novel experimentally-implemented multiplexing methods, we can capture low-coherence off-axis interferograms with significantly extended field of view and in faster acquisition rates. Using these techniques, we quantitatively imaged rapid dynamics of live biological cells including sperm cells and unicellular microorganisms. Then, we demonstrated dynamic profiling during lithography processes of microscopic elements, with thicknesses that may vary from several nanometers to hundreds of microns. Finally, we present new algorithms for fast reconstruction (including digital phase unwrapping) of off-axis interferograms, which allow real-time processing in more than video rate on regular single-core computers.