When ingestible pill technology first began to emerge, implementations were done in mammals with larger GI tracks, such as cows. For example, one of the highlights of the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the Well Cow Bolus. This device, powered by an embedded Arm-processor encapsulated into a pill, would monitor the health of the bovine stomach to avoid acidosis. The pill or bolus was specifically created to monitor rumen pH and temperature. The pill or bolus contained a miniature NXP LPC11U24 board based on an ARM Cortex-M0 processor with a wireless subsystem.
Pills with miniaturized embedded electronics, cameras, and sensors began to appear in research papers around that same time. One was an ingestible pill that would reside in a human stomach for at least a month and could be controlled using Bluetooth wireless protocols. It was designed by researchers at MIT, Draper, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The capsules were manufactured using 3-D-printing technology and could be deployed to deliver drugs to treat a variety of diseases, particularly in cases where prescribed drugs must be taken over a long period of time.
A more recent entry into this market was a pill with a bi-directional wireless interface. Researchers at Princeton introduced what they claim was the first wireless multiplexed fluorescence-based bio-molecular sensing system in a pill form for GI-track health monitoring application. This application is geared towards quasi-real time analysis of microbiome distribution through nucleic acid detection.