Believe it or not, there is a currently a development plan to transform your Windows Mobile device into an ultrasound machine that can be used to perform internal scanning such as diagnosis of liver, kidneys, uterine just like what can be done by conventional ultrasonic machine. The new project, funded by Microsoft and involves a number of researchers from Washington University is aiming to develop a portable USB ultrasonic probe that can be used exclusively with Windows Mobile smartphone targeted for medical and military usage.
Some of the major obstacles include the cost and the original size that appears to be unrealistic for the start but after numerous years of development effort, it seems that the team, under Professor William D, Richard and David Zar have managed them through and able to shrink the probe from originally size of a small cabinet to a 1 X 3 inch prototype over the years. And surprisingly, the probe is claimed to be high power efficient and only needed to be supplied by current from the smartphone device through USB interface. More importantly, the cost has dropped drastically from previously $30,000 down to $2000 and is expected to hit $500 in short future so that they can be made practically available for real world usage.
Currently the team has already started to demonstrate the working prototype and this is a good example of how a mobile device application can be extended through technology breakthrough. Hopefully, we will see the real prototype targeted for consumer market as well not only limited to medical and military fields in one day.