New iPhone Technology is Like LASIK Surgery for Smart Phones
The new iPhone 4 has a screen image so fine that most people would need LASIK eye surgery to appreciate it. Some technophiles think even LASIK wouldn't be enough and wonder if pixel size needs to go any smaller.
Debate began when Apple's Steve Jobs said the iPhone 4 has better resolution than the human eye, and that people can't see the screen pixels - the tiny squares that make up the image - from 12 inches away. According to Apple's Web site, the iPhone 4 has 326 pixels per inch.
Experts Disagree about Ability to See Pixels
Raymond Soneira, Ph.D., whose DisplayMate Technologies makes software to test computer screen performance, said the eye could see 447 pixels per inch at 12 inches and that a distance of 18 inches from the iPhone 4 is required to see a smooth image. Discover magazine writers countered by saying their calculations show that only those with perfect vision could achieve Soneira's predicted results, and that most people would not see pixels at 12 inches.
Ethan Rossi of the Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester calculates that 326 pixels per inch should resolve into visible squares at 10 inches, assuming 20/20 vision. Rossi said the quest for smaller pixels may be nearing its end, since most people won't be able to see any improvement.
Scientific Article Suggests LASIK May Yield 20/7 Vision
Rossi's own writing doesn't completely rule out a future market for smaller pixels. In a recent scientific paper he said advances in LASIK technology, which now achieves 20/15 or 20/10 vision for some patients, may someday achieve 20/8 or even 20/7.
Beyond simply reshaping the cornea to compensate for deficiencies in focal length, improved LASIK mapping and control technology now allows compensation for minor aberrations in the tissue of the eye's components, enabling improved clarity.
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