Now a tiny computer to track glaucoma

February 25th, 2011 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 25 (IANS) Scientists have invented a tiny computer to track glaucoma — a potentially blinding disease. A network of such units could one day track pollution, monitor structural integrity, perform surveillance or make virtually any object trackable.

Just a square mm in size, the device can be implanted in a person’s eyeball, packing in a hefty punch.

Powered by an ultra low-power microprocessor, it also has a pressure sensor, memory, a thin film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio.

The yet to be named device, expected to hit markets soon, is already being touted as the future of the computing industry, the Daily Mail reported.

One of its creaters, Dennis Sylvester, a professor in the University of Michigan, claim that as the device’s radio needs no tuning to find the right frequency, it could link to a wireless network of computers.

Sylvester added: “When you get smaller than hand-held devices, you turn to these monitoring devices.

“Because they’re so small, you could manufacture hundreds of thousands on one wafer. There could be tens to hundreds of them per person and it’s this per capita increase that fuels the semi-conductor industry’s growth.”

The system wakes every 15 minutes to take measurements and consumes an average of 5.3 nanowatts.

To keep the battery charged, it requires exposure to 10 hours of indoor light each day or 1.5 hours of sunlight. It can store up to a week’s worth of information.

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