The smallest picture ever printed is tiny enough to fit in a human hair

And you thought writing your name on a grain of rice was impressive

The world record for the smallest inkjet-printed colour image probably isn’t something that regularly crosses your mind, but it’s just been broken - and the winner is rather impressive.

The above image of a group of clown fish measures in at a minuscule 80 µm x 115 µm, which is roughly the same size as the cross-sectional area of a human hair, or a single retina display pixel.

It’s so tiny in fact, that it’s all but invisible to the naked eye, requiring viewers to whip out a microscope to verify there’s anything actually there.

The picture is a result of Swiss engineering company ETH Zurich’s efforts using 3D NanoDrip printing technology, which uses quantum dots (QDs) that act as nanoparticles that emit light of a very specific colour. Adjusting their size allows different colours to be produced, and layers of red, green and blue dots were used to create the world record-breaking image.

The picture itself is printed at a staggering 25,000 DPI - a pixel density which makes even 4K smartphone displays sound like cave paintings in comparison.

There’s no practical use for the technology itself (unless you’re a spy looking for a way to relay invisible covert messages), but you can get your own personalised microscopic picture off Kickstarter, if you fancy it.

[via Gizmodo]