Back in the 1950’s Russell Kirsch was working as a scientist at the National Bureau of Standards and figured out a way to scan a picture of his infant son into the experimental computer (SEAC) that he was working with into a 176 by 176 grid of black and white squares.  He now apologizes for that, as that action contributed to the birth of the square pixel we all know and try to antialias out of existence.  He is now working with a technique to overlay a grid of 6 pixels and then testing for contrast when the large pixel is split into a mask of two rough triangles or two rough rectangles.  From there the two masks are rotated and tested until the greatest contrast are found and then the filter moves onto the next pixel.  The picture at MAKE:Blog shows you what a difference this can make for regular rendering and scanning though a likely area this technology will first be applied is in the medical scans, sharpening MRIs and other scans.

“Russell Kirsch says he’s sorry.

More than 50 years ago, Kirsch took a picture of his infant son and scanned it into a computer. It was the first digital image: a grainy, black-and-white baby picture that literally changed the way we view the world. With it, the smoothness of images captured on film was shattered to bits.

The square pixel became the norm, thanks in part to Kirsch, and the world got a little bit rougher around the edges.”

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