Pixel Shortage Threatens Photos, Videos and More

The skyrocketing use of high megapixel digital and video cameras, HD televisions, monitors, and computer graphics will cause a critical shortage of pixels before the end of the decade, according to a group of scientists from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Dr. Demarien Harrell, lead scientist in the NTIS study, said the daily use of pixels has gone from more than 5 octillion (5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) in 2010 to nearly 32 decillion (32,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) in 2015. “The proliferation of camera phones and the advent of Ultra High Definition (UHD) / 4K television,” says Dr. Harrell, “are the most recent contributors to what likely could stop technological advancement in its track by 2020. The unprecedented growth of China’s consumer economy is the other contributing factor.”

Dr. Harrell and his team of NTIS scientists warned, “The United States and other developed countries are headed for a disastrous situation that will mean the end of color in all photos and video. We believe it is too late to stop a return to the black-and-white world of media of the 1950s.”

Increasing pixel use, globally.

Increasing pixel use, globally.

Dr. Harrell went on to say, “Black-and-white images are actually just the start of the problems. We predict a collapse of much of our technology, including media streaming, which will stop dead when the world hits the 67 quattuordecillion (67,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) mark of pixels used per day.”

There is some hope for limiting the length and severity of the pixel shortage. National Technical Information Service scientists have been working with similar technologists in Canada and Japan and a consortium of European experts to find solutions. Meanwhile, the NTIS scientists have told computer, television, camera, and software manufacturers and developers to restrict the pixel use of their devices to no more than 1 megapixel. According to Dr. Harrell, “We either make the pixel sacrifices voluntarily now or we’ll be dealing with significantly more severe restrictions later this decade.”


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