I was driving a rental car recently that had a small display between the speedometer and fuel gauge. When you started the car, a little animation played, showing the car company's logo. And I thought: "That looks cheap." The color palette was limited, but, more important, so was the resolution. The whole thing looked pixelated. Pixelated means inexpensive.
Pixels are an anachronism, the clumsy brush strokes of the digital world. There are no technological reason we should see them, only economic ones. Within a few years, pixels will be relegated to the world of retro chic. It's simply a matter of cost, of our ability to manufacture high resolution, flexible, sturdy displays cheaply.
That we've been on a journey to a pixel-less world is only apparent as you near its end.
Hanging in my kitchen is a scoreboard that I picked up at an antique store a few years back. This is what it looks like plugged in:
Each of those zeroes is comprised of 18 pixels from a palette of 28; the one is seven pixels high. The scoreboard is entirely analog (when running, you can hear the seconds tick in the controller) but the concept is the same - lighting particular points at the proper moment. Think of the first digital alarm clock you owned, the sort with numbers that glowed a deep red. Those digits were comprised of seven (very long) pixels. To make a 7, three pixels were lit. These are the bones of our earliest digital ancestors.