Speaker Series Odysseys in Technology

Pixels and Me

Computers have revolutionized image media. Richard Lyon, one of the current pioneers of digital cameras, has found that several generations of pioneers in this field have been entangled with the terms “picture element” and “pixel” and that studying the history of the terminology is a fruitful approach to the history of the people and technology. Vladimir Zworykin's television research group at RCA popularized the term “picture element” in the 1930s, while the TV researchers at Bell Labs ignored that term, preferring “image element.” Fred Billingsley and others at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed computerized image processing and propagated the term “pixel” in the 1960s, while image processing researchers at Bell Labs ignored that term, preferring “pel.” In the early 1970s, “pixel” was spread through computer image processing publications from NASA, USC, IBM, Stanford, University of Missouri, and other places, eventually coming to be applied to elements of image sensor hardware, such as Lyon's optical mouse in 1980 and digital camera sensors more recently. Many of the people involved in this complex history have provided their personal recollections and documents to help piece the story together, and more such inputs will be solicited from the Computer History Museum audience.

[youtube id="rn_1GjpbLnA"] FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in Conversation with Museum CEO John Hollar [/youtube]
 

Mar 23, 2005
6:00 pm

Add to Calendar 03/23/2005 6:00 pm America/Los_Angeles Pixels and Me Computer History Museum 1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard Mountain View, CA, 94043 United States
Location

Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043

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