The pixel, the smallest element of a picture, has, with little fanfare, helped push forward the digital revolution to new heights over the past 2 decades. Today, nearly every picture in the world is composed of pixels - cell phone pictures, app interfaces, Mars Rover transmissions, book illustrations, video games - and these digital images drive our understanding of the world around us. But where did pixels come from, and why are they so important? Alvy Ray Smith, the co-founder of Pixar, has a some answers to these increasingly important questions.
In his his timely book A Biography of the Pixel, Ray Smith notes that the pixel is the organizing principle of most modern media. Smith's story of the pixel's development - which touches upon technology, entertainment, business and history - begins with Fourier waves, proceeds through Turing machines and ends with the first digital movies from Pixar.
For anyone who has watched a video on a cell phone, played a video game, or streamed a television show or movie at home, this important discussion with one of digital media's pioneers who made it all possible is not to be missed.
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