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Medicine Input Devices Technology

The World's Smallest Video Camera 78

Posted by timothy
from the earwax-explorer dept.
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."
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The World's Smallest Video Camera

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  • by fridaynightsmoke (1589903) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:04AM (#36022184) Homepage

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

    • In a very small person?

    • by maxume (22995)

      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.

  • Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:05AM (#36022194) Homepage Journal

    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 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....
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

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

      Not with teledildonics.

      • 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.

        • by tomhudson (43916)

          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.

          • 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.
  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:09AM (#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?
    • by sam0737 (648914)

      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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by imsabbel (611519) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:26AM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @08:30AM (#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.

      • 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).

      • 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, gi
  • by cheros (223479) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:12AM (#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? :-)

    • The dentist will see you now...
    • 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.
  • by Lost Penguin (636359) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:16AM (#36022270) Homepage
    How do you change the tiny film?
    • Tweezers and a very small light proof bag.

      • by boristdog (133725)

        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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • " ...covert surveillance devices"

    Wanna bet?

    • by Fri13 (963421)

      +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...

    • by lennier1 (264730)

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

  • by alexhs (877055) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @08:21AM (#36022706) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by retroworks (652802) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @10:05AM (#36023634) Homepage Journal
      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.
    • 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.

    • by B Nesson (1153483)
      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.
  • Am I the only one who assumed it was going to be Violin until the very end? :)
  • 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).
  • Depending on the part of the anatomy, some people migh actually want doctors to use larger cameras.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @09:36AM (#36023354)
    For some reason, all this article makes me think of is Rule 34... and Rule 35.
  • Off topic (Score:5, Funny)

    by tehcyder (746570) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:15AM (#36024460) Journal
    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.
  • ... 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

    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      ... 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 millime

  • 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/
    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      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
  • There is definitely something wrong here. Combining decimal with imperial? 0.99mm alone would have been more clear and perfectly sufficient.

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