×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The World's Smallest Video Camera

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the earwax-explorer dept.

Medicine 78

fergus07 writes "Medigus has developed what it claims is the world's smallest video camera at just 0.039-inches (0.99 mm) in diameter. The Israeli company's second-gen model (a 0.047-inch diameter camera was unveiled in 2009) has a dedicated 0.66x0.66 mm CMOS sensor that captures images at 45K resolution and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices; instead the camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard-to-reach regions of the human anatomy."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

78 comments

And it's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022170)

Recording a video just for you.

Smallest camera you say? (4, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022184)

Well, they know where they can stick that...

Re:Smallest camera you say? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022430)

One of the nice things about really small cameras is that you can stick them in your mouth, and then they do the work while passing through the neighborhood.

Re:Smallest camera you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022714)

They can obviously see Uranus with it.

Which changed it's name to Urectum because they we're tired of the jokes.

Re:Smallest camera you say? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022828)

They can obviously see Uranus with it.

Which changed it's name to Urectum because they we're tired of the jokes.

Actually they got tired of that joke too, so they changed the name again. Something with goats, I think.

Re:Smallest camera you say? (3, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025356)

They can obviously see Uranus with it.

Which changed it's name to Urectum because they we're tired of the jokes.

Actually they got tired of that joke too, so they changed the name again. Something with goats, I think.

Urkidding?

Translation (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022194)

instead the camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy.

By that they really just mean "up-skirt" shots.

Hard to reach (1)

Bayoudegradeable (1003768) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022196)

"hard to reach regions of the human anatomy"

Ah yes, the perpetual struggle of Slashdudes everywhere.... Meeting those that posses such "regions" is a prerequisite to reaching said regions....

Re:Hard to reach (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022650)

Ah yes, the perpetual struggle of Slashdudes everywhere.... Meeting those that posses such "regions" is a prerequisite to reaching said regions....

Not with teledildonics.

Re:Hard to reach (2)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023138)

Not with teledildonics.

I can't tell if that's the next version of the Vibraphone, or a previously unknown book by L. Ron Hubbard.

Re:Hard to reach (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023598)

Not with teledildonics.

I can't tell if that's the next version of the Vibraphone, or a previously unknown book by L. Ron Hubbard.

You use that word, but I don't think you know what it means. A vibraphone [wikipedia.org] is a musical instrument. They've been around for 80 years. Think "NBC Chimes" sound.

Re:Hard to reach (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025386)

Actually, it was meant to play off the Monty Python "Embarrassment Clinic" sketch:
"Even words, like 'tits', 'winkle', and 'vibraphone'..."
Which is only funny if one already knows what a vibraphone is.

45k in lines (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022220)

That's 320x140.

I always wondered why we don't use fibre for endoscopes etc... Having the CCD fed by fibre to each "pixel" and a few around the perimeter emitting light, then running the lot through a sheath, would surely be smaller than mounting the whole thing on the end of a cable?

Re:45k in lines (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022298)

Fiber endoscopes? Isn't that what we have for a decade if not a few...
It's about 1cm....next time when you do a cystoscopy you will know what I mean.

Re:45k in lines (3, Interesting)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022336)

Thats what they are doing right now. Guess what. 45k individual fibres, even bundled, need a lot more space than a 1mm^3 camera...

Re:45k in lines (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022364)

Soon they will give you a one shot robotic tablet to swallow and a mobile phone app to relay data from the robot to the doctor via bluetooth and 3G.

Re:45k in lines (1)

SecondaryOak (1342441) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022468)

That sounds... completely feasible. And pretty reasonable. Man, smartphones really make me feel like I'm living in the future :)

Re:45k in lines (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022566)

During the Nijmeegse 4daagse a team of researches attempted to grab internal temperatures by means of a pill and send the data to a phone. I believe it succeded, but I can't find it now.
For long term monitoring the problem is the power supply: batteries are way to big. Now people are solving that by developing blood powered fuel cells [wired.co.uk] , but I have a clue some people may not like the ideas of teaching machines to use our blood for their fuel.

Re:45k in lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023594)

What, a tablet? Do you expect us to swallow some kind of mecha-iPad?

Re:45k in lines (4, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022796)

They do use fibre bundles for endoscopes ; they're very expensive ($10,000 kind of expensive).

CMOS sensors are actually a significant step up in terms of

* durability - whack a fibre endoscope on the edge of a surgical trolley and you just broke half the fibres in the bundle. Not so with a wire bundle.
* price - a CMOS sensor, even a medically certified one, is much cheaper than a carefully aligned bundle of photographic class optical fibres

And I reckon you can probably make sensors of a usable size and resolution, with lenses, much smaller than an equivalent fibre assembly.

Thow away (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#36026248)

They do use fibre bundles for endoscopes ; they're very expensive ($10,000 kind of expensive). {...} price - a CMOS sensor, even a medically certified one, is much cheaper than a carefully aligned bundle of photographic class optical fibres

Price is indeed important. Down to the point where the precious /. article on sub-1m cameras mentioned that such sensors are so cheap, that they could be used in single-use scenario, and still be cheaper that the fiber.

(Price is so low, because everything in that sub-1m camera could be assembled on a wafer. And given the size, you can get a bazillion of cameras from a single wafer, which brings the price down nicely).

Re:45k in lines (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 2 years ago | (#36035870)

I've got a surplus ureteroscope that uses a fiber bundle. It was surplussed because it got crimped, splitting the rubber sheath, damaging the steering on the flexible part, and breaking a few of the fibers. I haven't counted precisely, but I have the impression that the resolution is about 80 pixels across the diameter -- far lower than the camera in TFA, but still enough to be useful, particularly with moving images. (Your brain seamlessly integrates information from the stream of low-resolution images, giving you a reasonably high-res impression of what you're seeing.)

Re:45k in lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36031902)

TFA said 220x200.

Is this what is called .. (2)

cheros (223479) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022246)

.. a bottom up approach?

Funny that it immediately is mentioned that it's not intended for spy use. Exactly how many seconds do they expect that situation to last? :-)

Re:Is this what is called .. (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 2 years ago | (#36028278)

Do you think that various intelligent services don't already have something like this?

There is a catch. Smaller lens means less light. There are very real limits. How far we are from them, i can't be bothered to calculate.

But... (2)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022270)

How do you change the tiny film?

Re:But... (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022338)

Tweezers and a very small light proof bag.

Re:But... (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023158)

Tweezers and a very small light proof bag.

Wow, you just gave me a flashback to my youth. I hadn't thought of light-proof film changing bags for 25 years or more. Now I'm wondering where my old 8mm cameras are.

I (my doctor) could've used that recently (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022330)

I had an endoscopic "procedure" done recently and I wish my doctor had had this available!

By the way, outside of the U.S., if you have procedures done that provide electronic data, oftentimes the hospital will, for a nominal fee give you a copy on CD-ROM.

In Thailand I've had endoscopy, laproscopic knee surgery, CAT scans, retinal scans, X-Rays and ultrasound pictures and videos all given to me as well as EEGs from a sleep study and EKGs from a heart stress test. Fun, if a little gross to look at on my iPad!

Re:I (my doctor) could've used that recently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023292)

And they do the same thing in the United States. But why let that get in the way of getting in just one dig against it.

hillarians; rfid chip signal; bad guy, do not eat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022418)

it's hard to see down here. now, with the rfid system, we're pre-informed as to whether the flotsam & jetsum(fuel) are digestible, thanks to our rulers. getting more & more 'dead bad guy' chips lately. lots of room down here. they're not going anywhere either. on to mebotuh.

we voluntarily disarmed a while back as our fishing spears & stuff rusted away in the salt water. now we're growing gills? honestly? is there no shame?

UrethraTube... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022482)

...the video sharing site for up and coming urologists.

Best Slogan Factory Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022578)

HIgh Tech... Up Yours.

Middle Eastern R&D (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022614)

While it was business as usual in the Israeli R&D world, next door in the Palestinian territories, researchers weren't slowing down either. There were some stunning new breakthroughs in suicide bomb belts, which researchers found had a ten percent higher effectiveness rate when the nails were dipped in AIDS infected blood.

No, I am not joking [militaryphotos.net] .

I don't want to turn this into the Israel vs Palestinian discussion, but seriously, have a look at Israel's achievements and then compare them to the ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD (not just the Palestinians). Talk about picking a winning side...

"...not destined for use in..." (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022638)

" ...covert surveillance devices"

Wanna bet?

Re:"...not destined for use in..." (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022654)

+1

Who would say such cameras are not to be used in Covert Ops or any other surveillance must be very naive person. And I bet such person would believe that no one ever surveillance other than bad people like thiefs and terrorists...

Re:"...not destined for use in..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022688)

The memory and battery size is far more important than the camera size in those operations. This camera's size is only good if it's cabled back to something. Hence, endoscopy.

That said, it has some interesting home security applications, given that you can wire that up all you want since it's your house.

Re:"...all you want..." Perhaps not... (1)

ThinkDifferently (853608) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023280)

...home security applications, given that you can wire that up all you want since it's your house.

No, you can't. In some states it's a crime to surveil someone without their knowledge and consent, even more so if the person can prove a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Re:"...not destined for use in..." (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022690)

Doesn't have to be the military. Even regular SWAT units around the world would love to get their hands on tech like this.

Subminiature surveillance cameras already exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023570)

Back in the late 1990's we had a tiny, surveillance camera that was about 0.18" in diameter and a few inches long. About like a short knitting needle. It was self contained with a lithium battery and RF transmitter and mic and would run for about 3 days before the battery gave out. You stick it up into a ceiling tile in someone's office and it looks down at everything they do at their desk and also has a wide enough field that you can see any visitors near their desk too. When stuck into the ceiling tile with the lens flush or slightly countersunk into the tile, you could not distinguish it from the regular dots and holes that cover the surface of a typical ceiling tile unless you looked very close. This was available to private investigators, so if we had this kind of tech over a decade ago, it's scary to think of what the govt has now.

Not for espionage huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022686)

Right, this camera not being used for espionage is like saying the inventor of the gun invented it for medical purposes, to easily amputate limbs.

Dupe ? (2)

alexhs (877055) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022706)

I thought it was a dupe but actually it is not, this camera being 0.01 mm smaller than the previous one from last month [slashdot.org] .
However, at 220x220 pixels, the resolution is also smaller compared to 250x250.

Re:Dupe ? (3)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023634)

I thought it was a duplicate too. But it made my comment on the previous story worth duplicating... "Nine months from now, will these seem large and cumbersome?" The comment got modded down last month, probably foolish to repost.

Re:Dupe ? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025932)

Automated aggregater has a very short memory, and besides, it picks up advertiser info in place of content, so it probably doesn't even know what's in the article.

Re:Dupe ? (1)

B Nesson (1153483) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027682)

Is it actually smaller? It seems more likely that someone took the actual dimension of 1mm, converted it to 0.0393700787 inches, and rounded that to 0.039 inches for the press release. Someone else regurgitating that press release took 0.039 inches, converted it to 0.9906 mm, and rounded that to 0.99 mm.

Hard to reach parts of the anatomy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022748)

You mean those parts that need a bullet to get to? Coming soon splatter porn.

Surveilance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023076)

...and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices, instead...

Yeah right, and don't think for an instant that there isn't a covert agency in the world that doesn't already have an order in for a few thousand units.

45K != 45K (1)

toxygen01 (901511) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023154)

just to clear it up:

Normally 2K means 2048 x 1080 pixels.
However, the article assumes that 45K means 45000 pixels, which should be written as 0.045 MP (megapixel).

Re:45K != 45K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36024346)

No it shouldn't.
2K for 2048x1080 is the stupid one.
45K should be written as 45kP or 45kp (kilopixels), depending on if you think uppercase or lowercase feels better.
And 2048x1080 should be written as 2.211840MP, 2.211840Mp, just ~2.2MP or ~2.2Mp.

But if one has the actual width/height, use that, since it has additional useful information.
(OK, one could add an aspect ratio to the above pixel count numbers.)

That depends... (1)

canuco (1930572) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023242)

Depending on the part of the anatomy, some people migh actually want doctors to use larger cameras.

inputdev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023414)

Gotta love that inputdev tag for a cam to be inserted "in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy".

naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023452)

and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices -flag as inaccurate

Off topic (4, Funny)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024460)

If someone doesn't change that fucking quote of the day by "Matt Welsh" soon, I'm going to scream and scream and scream until my head falls off and then let my grieving relatives sue slashdot for one trillion dollars.

Re:Off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36028958)

Thank You!!....My thoughts exactly!

Not Destined? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024832)

... and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices, instead the camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy."

Are you kidding me?

Agent 1:"Sir, I have this cool new camera we can use to watch the Smith house with."

Agent 2:"Alright, where is it?"

Agent 1:"Here." holds up his hand

Agent 2:"I don't see it."

Agent 1:Hands him a magnifying class. "Try again"

Agent 2:"That's just a spec of sand."

Agent 1:"No, seriously sir, it's a camera"

Agent 2:"You're full of it!"

Agent 1:"Just imagine where we can put these things, and no one would ever know."

Agent 2:"Why would we need something that small? No, we're going to use this device." pulls out 5x3cm brick

Agent 1:rolls his eyes, walks off and sits down in from of a monitor showing what appears to be very pixelated Lady Gaga porn

Re:Not Destined? (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027970)

... and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices, instead the camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy."

Are you kidding me?

Not kidding. First, if you plant this camera in someone's home, you're basically littering dust. The 1mm camera does not contain any film, no hard drives, no way to transmit images. By the time you add the supporting hardware to run the camera, you're in the neighborhood of the 5x3cm brick.

Second, being designed for endoscopic purposes and being very small, I'm guessing this camera has a very short focal length. Another guess here, but I'd wager most surveillance involves a space more than a few millimeters in depth.

no big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36024862)

0.6mm with 200 pixels gives pixel size of ~3 um (3,000 nm).
Most consumer digital cameras have comparable pixel sizes.
So pretty much commodity technology,

Diffraction? (1)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025104)

How do these tiny cameras work, considering the diffraction limits? I'm wondering how they even get an image. With a 1mm diameter sensor, you are asking for, I presume, hundreds of lines per mm in 'on-the-film' resolution in order to achieve even a very low-resolution image. How are you going to achieve hundreds of lines per mm of resolution with a micro-lens that is well within diffraction territory?

This thing is 1mm in diameter. For a 'normal' angle of view, that would give it a focal length of 1mm. At f/2, that's a .5mm aperture. .5mm is about the size of a pinhole for a large-format pinhole camera, so diffraction is definitely in effect.

Re:Diffraction? (2)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36026258)

If you crunch the numbers, the pixel density is equvilant to a 90 megapixel full frame sensor. The calculator on the page on diffraction on cambridge in colour suggest that this only becomes diffraction limited at about f/5.6 The pixel size is about 10um^2, which is larger than that of most compact point and shoot cameras

Hurry up, I'm due for my second pill endoscopy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36025626)

For the second time I'll be swallowing a pill camera. It's a huge pill, with a camera and LED flash at each end. Takes pictures as it works its way through your digestive tract, and transmits them to a hard drive that you wear on your belt. The pill is triangulated by patches they place on your torso. It is a pain to swallow, and all day you're thinking about how it's got to come out eventually...in this case, smaller is definitely better.

'0.039-inches'? (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027678)

There is definitely something wrong here. Combining decimal with imperial? 0.99mm alone would have been more clear and perfectly sufficient.

Eewww. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36028088)

Sounds like the point of this thing is to enable "goatse --- the next generation!"

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...