It’s not quite the Fantastic Voyage, but a new camera is so small it can be injected into your body — giving us a rare peek at the microscopic view inside what makes us human.
Engadget reports a team at the University of Stuttgart has developed a 3D-printed, three-lens camera that measures just .004 inches (100 micrometers) across. The medical implications are obvious: It’d be the perfect size for endoscopy, and could give doctors the best look yet at internal health issues in sick patients. This thing is crazy small, and capable of using specific (equally tiny) lenses for specific situations.
But, as cool as it may be, we’re still years away from this thing making it into your local hospital. The big holdup is the fact that the current version has to be attached to an optical fiber, but that’s something that could potentially change with a future version. Regardless, this is an amazingly tiny and cool proof of concept.
Beyond medical uses, the development team believes the tiny cameras could have practical everyday uses, such as embedding them in self-driving cars (you don’t even see the cameras!), and using them on smartphones. The best part? It was relatively easy to make thanks to 3D printing tech, so it’s certainly scaleable. But, if this tech really does take off, it also has the potential for misuse. (Hmm, where might people want to put tiny cameras? Oh yeah, everywhere.) So it could be a double-edged sword.
What's your take on the ultra-tiny camera?