The image: Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a computer so small that it would fit on any of the letters in this this sentence. Still, this tiny machine packs some serious hardware: A low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a battery, a solar cell, and a wireless radio. That last function is key, because the world's smallest computer isn't just for show — it will be used as "an implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients." Doctors would place the device in a patient's eye, where it would periodically take a measurement, then communicate the results to a separate device. It's expected that the micro-computer will be available commercially in a few years.
The reaction: This micro machine's usefulness will extend far beyond hospitals, says Discover; "if this tiny technology takes off, you could see the same ideas used for other monitors, like tiny pollution tracking gadgets." Indeed, the computer's developers are already looking ahead. As quoted by Live Science, machine's co-creator David Blaauw says that, "the next big challenge is to achieve millimeter-scale systems, which have a host of new applications for monitoring our bodies, our environment and our buildings." Check out the tiny computer for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 5 tricks to making a mind-blowing burger
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- What if The Purge was real?
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
Subscribe to the Week