Meet the World's Smallest Computer: An Implantable Eye Pressure Monitor

Pulkit Chandna

What you are staring at right now could quite literally be staring back at you in a few years’ time. Pictured here is a prototype of an implantable eye pressure monitor designed for glaucoma patients. It happens to be the “first true millimeter-scale complete computing system” in the world, also making it the smallest computer till date.

The tiniest computer in the world was born as researchers at the University of Michigan managed to squeeze a low-power processor (we are talking a few nanowatts here), a pressure sensor, memory, a thin-film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio into one cubic millimeter of space.

The computer can store up to one week’s worth of eye pressure readings at any given time. It can also transmit this data wirelessly to an appropriate device when the latter is held near the eye of the glaucoma patient. The antenna on the device does not need any external tuning and can automatically tune into the correct frequency.

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