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FDA Approves Swallowable Camera 159

Pru writes: "Over at MSNBC.. ( yah yah just ignore the first two letters) there is an interesting article about a camera that is swallowable. It transmits its pictures back wirelessly. And with price at only $450 a camera, disposable of course, it can't be too long before cameras this size are well down under $100 -- now then the fun does begin ..." Just imagine the potential for cam sites now. I imagine now in addition to the living room cam, bedroom cam, and bathroom cam, they'll have to have a colon cam.
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Swallowable Camera Approved by the FDA

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I bet it's going to be shitty.

    --
    I'll go away now.
  • Swallowing isn't the end I'd be concerned about, if you catch my meaning.

    ----

  • I ate there three days ago... belive me, I am NOT the only one who is still experiencing it.
  • The FDA also has broad powers to regulate stuff that goes directly into the body. They are also the people who regulate medical equiptment, including stethescopes, siringes and bot plugs.

    In fact I read somewhere ( link please?) that they had rejected a dildo because it had a tendency to short out and cause burns :).

  • www.campchaos.com

    Look for the flash animation clip titled

    "They shoved a camera right up my ass"

    It's the latest in reality, survivor-type shows

    Phoenix
  • Over at MSNBC.. ( yah yah just ignore the first two letters)
    Impossible. Ignoring the first two letters is foolish. Clicking on MSN sites puts revenue directly into Microsoft's coffers. Revenue that they will, without a doubt, use to hurt you if you are a member of the non-Microsoft community.
    --
  • by CMiYC ( 6473 )
    I liked how I went to this article and the pop under add was from X10. It was for a Wireless Camera. heh.

    ---
  • Living room cam

    Bedroom cam

    Bathroom cam

    Colon cam

    Nostril cam

    CowboyNeal cam

  • Well, the webmaster of goatse.cx could probably find a use for such things...

    I seem to recall that he wouldn't need it though. Just as a hasty estimate, I'm pretty sure that guy could fit a whole news crew up there, including the mobile transmission/editing truck.
  • What kind of encryption does this thing use? I sure as heck don't want just any script kiddie hax0ring anything inside of me, especially somethign that takes pictures! What about range? I can't be walking around broadacsting my insides to everyone with a TV that can't lock onto channels...
  • yeah i knew. it's kind of hard to miss with the dude posting ascii art these days.

    --
    Poliglut [poliglut.com]

  • by rw2 ( 17419 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:35AM (#2175864) Homepage
    I thought that's what goats.ex was?

    --
    Poliglut [poliglut.com]

  • Underscores are not valid characters in host/domain names (no matter what Microsoft tells you). :P

    --
  • Instead of the dreaded "Oh shit!" comment from the doc, comes relief from "Ahhh, shit!"
  • Too late. It appears as though CBS has already implemented this idea [campchaos.com] into one of their reality TV shows.
  • by toastyman ( 23954 ) <toasty@dragondata.com> on Thursday August 02, 2001 @12:27PM (#2175868) Homepage
    (Warning: Very adult content)

    This is old news. Stile Project already has had a Colon Cam. We've nicknamed her the Goatse Girl [stileproject.com].

    (No, it's not goatse.cx, but it's worse.)

    This is one of the really really rare occasions where linking to porn is somehow on topic. Scary.
  • I wonder if the name is already taken...

    But seriously, I have to wonder how much you could see with the camera, being that it is not lighted inside your body. It better have some pretty decent lighting attached.

    Take care,

    Brian

    100% Linux Web Hosting Services, 99+% Uptime Guaranteed! [assortedinternet.com]

  • Forget complaining about "damn, you blinked" or, "you didn't smile." Now you'll have complaints like, "dude, what did you eat!?" or "you are eating too much bran"

    ---
  • I REALLY dont think im gonna run that bad boy back on through.
  • Just please make sure you wash it before doing any disection.

  • Of course, a True Geek would recover the camera even after being told that it is disposable. Gotta take that thing apart and look inside, after all!
  • Or how about both - imagine your doctors surprise when he finds a camera up your butt! Even better your butt-cam should be able to snap a great picture of your doc as it emerges from your ass.
  • Does this mean lots of really tiny pop-under ads?
  • Heheh, maybe it's you that thinks he's smart. I mean, turning javascript off is a good defense against hostile web-pages that throw up pop-under ads. And then you said some really stupid things. So... you're right.

    Pop-under ads are not a good revenue stream when they serve to anger and alienate eyeballs.

    If you weren't such a chump and hated people for being smarter than you, maybe you'd be smart too.

    Take care, chump.
  • You've obviously never dealt with, or forgotten what it's like to deal with a 2 year old ... you could be in the same room, turn your back for just one second ... and BAMMM .. they're outta there ... and fast.

    Obviously, you didn't go to the electric-shock-collar school of parenting. The only "BAMMMs" my kids get is when they cross the invisible fence inside the house.

    The little suckers are so cute when they twitch.
    HI Mom!
  • http://www.campchaos.com/cartoons/ass/ [campchaos.com] They shoved a camera up my ass.
  • Just what i needed, a TV studio in my colon.
    Coming soon to a webcast near you. sponsored by X10 no doubt, complete with popups.
  • This means we'll have one more angle to choose from in those pr0n DVDs!!
  • > I read somewhere ( link please?) that they had rejected a dildo because it had a tendency to short out and cause burns :).

    To hell with the FDA's link. I want a copy of her resume', and I know a few pr0n webmasters who would probably pay good bucks for the video: "Insatiable XXVII: They Ain't Made A Dildo She Can't Burn Out" ;-)

  • > What's so funny about this? This looks like a serious leap forward in the medical field, especially for gastroenterolgists (sp?) and the like. How come the best thing you can think of for something like this is stupid little web cam sites?

    ...because gastroenterology is probably the funniest field of medicine you can get into ;-)

    The only problem with this technology is that we'll no longer be able to look at the typical RIAA or MPAA lawyer and say "so stupid they couldn't find their ass with both hands and a flashlight."

    Because at $450 a pop, even Hilary Rosen and Jack Valenti will finally be able to locate their asses. Albeit with the assistance of one hand, a glass of water, and an LED.

  • > > "Because at $450 a pop, even Hilary Rosen and Jack Valenti will finally be able to locate their asses. Albeit with the assistance of one hand, a glass of water, and an LED. "
    >
    > How much trouble could they possibly have finding their asses, when their heads are crammed so far up there?

    Good point. I guess they don't need the pill.

    But granted that their heads are shoved up their asses, I hereby volunteer to feed 'em the pill anyways. ("Nurse, get my elbow-length rubber gloves. Yeah, the special ones we keep in the big pool of tabasco-habanero sauce for, uh, sterilization purposes!")

  • With respect to Douglas Adams and the HHGTTG:

    Ford: "You'd better prepare yourself for the hump into hyperspace. It's unpleasantly like being drunk."

    Arthur: "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"

    Ford: "You ask a glass of water."

    At long last, we'll know.

  • >How come the best thing you can think of for something like this is stupid little web cam sites?

    because I've had a cartoon hanging over my desk for over a year about a swallowed webcam, and a domain 'dogstomach.com'...

    //rdj
  • Actually, this is a good thing, Taco. Would you rather have a tiny, swallowable camera looking at your prostate, or a proctologist with a very large hand feeling around for it?
  • by quartz ( 64169 ) <shadowman@mylaptop.com> on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:42AM (#2175887) Homepage
    What flavors do they come in?
  • by RedX ( 71326 ) <(redx) (at) (wideopenwest.com)> on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:40AM (#2175888)
    I imagine now in addition to the living room cam, bedroom cam, and bathroom cam, they'll have to have a colon cam.

    From the article: "The pill won't replace colonoscopies, the exams that check for colon cancer, because the battery doesn't last long enough to get to the large intestine."

  • Hey, I haven't seen any of those yet. Maybe it's because I surf with Javascript turned off. And with 99% of the sites, I won't lose anything. The remaining 1% are "corporate" sites such as notes.net [notes.net] that for some odd reason think that you need javascript to implement a plain hyperlink.
  • > Unfortunately, I believe this is tied to the way that Lotus Notes is implemented. If you hadn't noticed, notes.net is actually a Notes DB being served up on the web via a Domino server. Notes uses Javascript for all web-based events when doing this.

    AFAIK, even in Lotus Notes itself Javascript is optional (it is more useful for filling out Lotus documents over the Web, but less for static contents). And actually most of the hyperlinks on notes.net are ok, except the download links. Which proves that it's somehow possible to have plain hyperlinks, even in Domino.

    Btw, Lotus is not the only site to gratuitously require javascript. There is also http://www.polytechniciens.com/ [polytechniciens.com], who for some reason thought it was smart to wrap all their contents of their main page into document.write() statements. Oddly enough, the page still can be viewed (without the Javascript) at http://www.polytechniciens.com/index.html [polytechniciens.com].

    And most boorish of all http://www.cordis.lu [cordis.lu] who just do it with a <NOSCRIPT> tag. This is a government sponsored site, which normally should know better than to wilfully restrict people's access in such a way. Blind people browsing with lynx and a braille line are effectively shut out of the site. While the government spends millions to retrofit their physical buildings with ramps to present easy access for the disabled, cordis's id10t webmaster thinks he's so leet shutting them out in this want-on manner...

  • X10's New Wireless Camera!

    Spy on your girlfriend's digestive tract!
  • or make it use a minimal amount of power until it gets to the large intestine?
  • Hmm...

    You could probably re-use it if you REALLY wanted to. I don't know if the effort would be worth it though. How much would you have to pay someone to go through your poo?

    -Sean
  • Who says the camera has to acually be swallowed??

    You just need a little more persistance. And maybe some tips from that unfortunate goat-yaknow person.
  • Give it to Mikey... he'll eat anything! I guess it beats sifting to make sure that quarter you swallowed came out.

    Hey... I resemble that remark. Or parts of it, anyway. I'll let you figure out which parts.

  • The Inside of a Dog Cam!

    http://www.see_what_my_stupid_mutt_ate_today.info

    Stefan

  • I linked to the article at MSNBC and found a wonderful little pop-up window waiting for me - a X-10 ad for a "Tiny Wireless Video Camera".

    These sure hit the market rather fast... ;)

  • First, imbibe ten to fifteen shots of [insert favorite liquor here].

    Second, swallow camera.

    Third, spin yourself around twenty times real fast.

    Fourth, projectile vomit.

    Fifth, pass out.

    Finally, enjoy the taped recording of your physiological feat! Brush your teeth while your at it.

  • Tie a string? Just catch it on the flip-side...
  • Ironic that this new camera is coming out at the same time that Bill Murray's new comedy, Osmosis Jones [apple.com], is coming out.

    Hmmm...I wonder if they're gonna do any cross-promotional stuff?

  • This should ring a bell for a lot of people:

    "X10's XCam2 Wireless Color Video Camera! Goes virtually ANYWHERE!"
    I'd now idea how literally they meant that until seeing this post.
  • i tried that with a penny once. i believe i was 3. my digestive track did a nice job of cleaning it.
  • A camera is all good and well, but wouldn't there be a problem with lighting?
  • I imagine now in addition to the living room cam, bedroom cam, and bathroom cam, they'll have to have a colon cam. Not really, no. The battery life on the camera does not last long enough to allow the pill to reach the colon. On the typical human it takes about 48 hours or so for cycle of food digestion to complete itself. The battery life on the pill camera is much shorter than that, I believe only a couple of hours. This is an interesting story in more ways than one, especially the tech behind the pill. That's a video camera, transmitter, and battery all inside of a pill! I can't even begin to count the possibilities and benefits that can arise from that kind of technology. Maybe toss a miniature motor into it and turn it into a sort of remote-control submarine that doctors could use to examine a baby while it's still in the womb. Or perhaps if you combine the technology used to charge up the battery on the new artifical heart with the technology of the pill and perhaps we'll see a pill make it all the way through the system, broadcasting as it goes. The question then becomes, is that something we really want to se?!
  • Both, it is covered in chocolate.
  • I find that a bit hard to swallow.

    (rimshot)

    --
  • The real question is will the camera be open source for all the GNU/Linux developers out there to be able to modify it's functionality. I mean if you buy a camera like that and use it in an intended manner that's one thing, but what if you want to stick this camera into your ear and use it? What would be the metaphysical and psychological ramifications of being able to view your own ear drum and various membrains?
    On the other hand this kind of device could successfuly be used by spies of some sort. The camera can be swallowed and then expelled from the body when normal course of actions takes place... Then it can be reinserted into the spies nose and used as a nose camera to take various secret documents. The implications are countless!!!
  • This article [givenimaging.com] (cleaned up from link of previous poster) talks about how white LEDs helped make this possible... I was wondering how they planned to illuminate that without fiberoptics. I wonder how much tumble there is to the thing, if they might miss something interesting because the camera faced the wrong way as it passed through the system.
    --
  • I can't wait until Jenny upgrades her site with this new feature!
  • Gee... that sounds kinda familiar [campchaos.com]...

    --

  • --That's right folks, you grew up watching Urto Suki Doji now you can live it!

    --We can't promise you multiple prehensile penises but we can, for a limited time, off you:

    VULVA CAM! (..cam....cam...)

    --That's right VULVA CAM! You can see it all! Just like multiheaded penises' of The Wandering Kid!

    --Act now and get....
    ---
  • by deglr6328 ( 150198 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @12:50PM (#2175912)
    would it be so hard to power the camera using a tiny induction coil with a beltpack transmitter?

  • So that's how they filmed Osmosis Jones...
  • So how do they possibly justify asking $20000 just to look at the low-resolution images coming out of this ovoid?

    Some of it is recoupment of development cost, but I'll bet a lot is various forms of malpractice and liability insurance premiums.

    Whatever floats your boat, but my girlfriend's colon is not the part I'm interested in.

  • Yeah and just imagine if it locks up right after you swallow the pill! Wouldn't that be a bitch!

    "Hold on a sec. Nuts, the computer locked up again. I am going to have to reboot. Here's another pill. Oh, and that'll be another $450."

    Gee, thanks Doc.

  • Wayne and Garth aren't around.

    "Unnecessary zoom!!! Unnecessary zoom!!!"

  • How, exactly, is this camera going to take pictures without a light? I mean, I see the diagram, I read the article...what gives? Someone, as usual, clue me in.
  • The remaining 1% are "corporate" sites such as notes.net that for some odd reason think that you need javascript to implement a plain hyperlink.
    Unfortunately, I believe this is tied to the way that Lotus Notes is implemented. If you hadn't noticed, notes.net [notes.net] is actually a Notes DB being served up on the web via a Domino server. Notes uses Javascript for all web-based events when doing this. I'm guessing it has something to do with maintaining internal/external compatability. To be honest, I've only done internal databases that are meant to be used with the Notes client, so my knowledge here is a bit fuzzy at best.


    -------
  • Or, better yet, have a remote turn-on... swallow the thing, and a few hours later when it is positioned properly, send it a radio signal to activate.
  • sending someone a gift from this website: http://www.doggypoo.com/ with a disposable camera to watch their reaction.
  • Just combine this new toy with the recent X10 wireless minicamera ad blitz...the likely exit path for the swallowable camera gives a whole new sense to the term "popunder".

    --

  • All they need to do is add a joy stick. Imagine the fun you could have when your system admin pisses you off. Slip a couple of these into his morning brew.. unreal suddenly seems boring
  • And for a wireless cam too. Oh the irony.

  • I dunno... he might actually _want_ the large hand feeling around... :-)
  • by mizhi ( 186984 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:54AM (#2175925) Homepage
    Well, that just assumes you take the pill orally. :-)
  • Hopefully it's encrypted pretty good or that would be a big invasion of privacy.

    Just think of the engineers at work: "Wow, look at what I picked up on the TV guys. Hey Steve, what did your doctor say about that cancerous looking growth in your colon."
  • by CraigoFL ( 201165 ) <slashdot@@@kanook...net> on Thursday August 02, 2001 @12:14PM (#2175931)
    Sounds like they're using some sort of proprietary wireless communication protocol, but i haven't researched the actual product... how expensive does a computer have to be to connect to a wireless camera? It's just obvious that someone's milking a few extra grand... per-unit from the health industry

    Ok... you try swallowing a Logitech QuickCam, wireless Ethernet card, and battery, and then tell me why the thing shouldn't be proprietary.

  • actually doesnt this make goatse.cx kinda redundant?
  • How about "Buy this camera or you'll never see your lunch again!"
  • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @12:20PM (#2175939) Journal
    Damn, $450 bucks? Better tie a string to that thing to re-use it.

    I'm thinking a string won't be necessary...
  • by VulgarBoatman ( 213054 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:40AM (#2175941) Homepage
    There aren't enough downward mod points in all of /. to adequately deal with the sheer volume of toilet humor that is about to ensue on this topic.
  • by KarmaBlackballed ( 222917 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @12:05PM (#2175947) Homepage Journal
    battery doesn't last long enough to get to the large intestine.

    Tie the camera to a gerbil and start at the other end. Ouch!


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~ the real world is much simpler ~~
  • Instead of "The Jeff Corwin Experience" we might see "Jeff Cowin's Experience"
  • by LightStruk ( 228264 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @12:20PM (#2175949)
    So how do they possibly justify asking $20000 just to look at the low-resolution images coming out of this ovoid?

    From their FAQ:

    " 10Q. What function does the RAPID(TM) software perform?

    10A. After the patient returns the Given® Data Recorder to the physician and the data has been downloaded from the recorder to the RAPID(TM) Workstation, Given's proprietary RAPID(TM) software performs advanced image and data processing on the video and data. It transforms them into a video that may be viewed and reviewed by the physician offline at a rate faster or slower than real-time."

    You've got to forgive me for being skeptical. Image sequencing and processing? Here's a link to a screenshot of their software: http://www.givenimaging.com/usa/product.asp?x=4&y= 1 [givenimaging.com]
    Yup, that's either Win2k or WinME. On x86 hardware. Perhaps there's specialized hardware for downloading the data, but it can't be that complicated. And the total cost of the hardware can't be more than $1000, not to mention that most doctor's offices don't need another Wintel box.

    The only reason I can imagine for forcing you to buy an entire Windows workstation just to look at pictures with a pretty front-end is so that they can recoup some of the development costs involved in making the pill and the costs of running clinical trials.

    $20000 still seems pretty extravagent.
  • Although the article clearly states:Don't worry - the camera is, well, disposable. It is excreted eight to 72 hours after being swallowed. Before then, it has beamed its pictures to an external receiver the patient wears on a waistband. I'm sure some enterprising young snot nosed HMO executive will decide that at his company thay'll recycle the cameras, requiring patients to scavenge through their feces to collect the camera, under penalty of non-couverage of the procedure. I wouldn't put it past them.

    --CTH
  • by 3prong ( 241218 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:39AM (#2175953)
    Damn, $450 bucks? Better tie a string to that thing to re-use it.
  • Can't you just imagine it? The opportunity to work for yourself! Create your own hours! Never work for a boss again.
    All you have to do is sift through the sludge coming out of the local sewage reclamation facility, fish out these lil' cameras, wipe 'em off, put new batteries in them, and sell them back to the doctors! Who'd balk at such an opportunity?

    Kill Smart Tags:
  • Hmmmm... getting an idea for a reality based TV show... cam races through the small intesting or something... actually getting to watch people digest the bugs after they eat them...

    At least it should make those surgery programs on TV even more interesting.

    ---
  • They had a blurb about this in Wired months ago. It came out in Nature well over a year ago. And yeah, yeah, yeah - so it's FDA approved now. Big f'n deal. But hey - here's a web link with some nasty pictures:

    http://www.givenimaging.com/usa/given_news_detail. asp?id=6

  • not sure why but that url went in wtih some weird spaces that make it not work - it's

    http://www.givenimaging.com/usa/given_news_detail. asp?id=6

    Ah, but you've seen one colon...

    On a personal note, since colon cancer runs in my family, and I'm consequently looking at regular colonoscopy after age 45 or so, this kind of thing is completely welcome. Nothin' nice about the old-fashioned way of doin' this stuff. By the time I hit my 40s they'll be routinely putting 'em in hot dogs without even asking permission. That'll be $17.50 sir, and by the way, you should really get that polyp checked

  • by JohnnyKnoxville ( 311956 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:36AM (#2175970)
    Give it to Mikey... he'll eat anything! I guess it beats sifting to make sure that quarter you swallowed came out.

  • I want a doctor
    to take your picture
    so I can look at you from inside as well
    You've got me turning up
    and turning down
    and turning in
    and turning 'round
    I'm turning Japanese
    I think I'm turning Japanese
    I really think so

    - The Vapors - Turning Japanese

  • What's so funny about this? This looks like a serious leap forward in the medical field, especially for gastroenterolgists (sp?) and the like. How come the best thing you can think of for something like this is stupid little web cam sites?

    --
  • "Oh, I'm not feeling too well. Let's see what inside" *swallows camera* "Ok, now I see you, big evil piece of meat!! Where's the photon torpedo launch button on this thing ??!!"
  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:35AM (#2175981) Journal

    How soon until we get the pop-under ads with attractive models offering to sell me a swallow-cam? See Your Lunch -- Again!

  • You've obviously never dealt with, or forgotten what it's like to deal with a 2 year old ... you could be in the same room, turn your back for just one second ... and BAMMM .. they're outta there ... and fast.

    Which raises another interesting concept with this camera. Imagine how helpful it would be in dealing with children. I mean, anyone who's had to take their kids for shots can imagine the torture it must be to 'scope' a young child.

    As long as they could dress-up the camera like a Flintstone Vitamin, then a swallowable camera is going to be a BIG step towards making EVERYONE more comfortable for an otherwise unpleasant process.

  • by beanerspace ( 443710 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:43AM (#2175987) Homepage
    I realize that such a camera is going to radically improve medical treatment. I mean, talk about a Fantastic Voyage [eonline.com]. But I just can't help thinking about my almost 2 year old old daughter.

    Here we've spent the past year or so training her so she doesn't put things like rocks, button, the lens cap to my camera, a quarter that fell out of my pocket, a bug crawling along the ground out of fear she might swallow them (that and chewmarks on my lens cap really causes some problems).

    Then again, it might be a valuable tool for trying to figure out if my car keys are in her cute little belly. Even more useful if they added a GPS so I could keep track of the little stinker when she decides she's had enough of the back yard.

  • It's just a camera, not a computer. They could put seti@home on the workstation, but...why?


    USA Intellectual Property Laws: 5 monkeys, 1 hour.
  • What, are you kidding? THEY made those cameras to monitor us. They're not satisfied bugging my bathroom, now they want to see my insides!!! Oh God there's something crunchy in my Clif bar. I think I just ate one!

  • The hardware implimentation is independant of the protocol by way of which the information is transmitted.

    Of course, the question of whether or not the method of transmission should be proprietary depends on your point of view. If you're the developer, and you want to force people to purchase your reception solution as a way of either driving down the price of the disposable unit, or just scamming more money out of a bloated industry, then yeah, making it proprietary is a pretty sharp business move. If you're one of the intended users, and you want to find a cost-efficient way of implimenting the technology, it shouldnt be too hard to do.
  • by agusus ( 470745 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:41AM (#2176005) Homepage
    "Doctors who wish to use the video pill will have to buy a $20,000 computer workstation; each capsule is $450."

    What type of computer would they need for it that costs $20 grand? Sounds like the company is using that to feed it's profits even more.
    And what is the computer going to do while it sits there in between uses of the pill? Brain the size of a planet and you have me opening doors... ;) They should put Seti@Home on it.
  • you buy one of these and implant it in the back of your head? That way you can finally see Them following you everywhere you go. See if They like a dose of Their own medicine!!!

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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