Insight & Analysis

Scientists develop ‘grain of salt’ sized camera

Published: Dec 2021

Scientists in the United States have developed a miniature camera that is reportedly the size of a coarse grain of salt.

Tiny camera on the tip of a finger

The tiny camera can produce full-colour, clear images that are as good as those taken with a camera lens 500,000 times bigger. Although scientists have previously developed tiny cameras, the pictures have not been such good quality and were always blurry. Cameras normally rely on lenses to keep images clear which limits how small they can be. This one however uses different technology which means that although the camera is tiny it still takes really clear pictures!

This camera’s secret is that the surface contains 1.6 million cylinder shaped ‘posts’ which all use artificial intelligence and light to change what they detect into an image. The team who developed the camera, (who are from Princetown University and the University of Washington in America) are currently working on adding additional features to the device, including giving it the ability to detect objects.

There is a lot of excitement surrounding this new camera and scientists think it could make a big difference to future technology as it could also be used to help doctors take better images of the human body in order to help diagnose and treat diseases.

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