But what about text, you say? After all, the best thing about all those pixels is that you can display ultra-fine details and hence use smaller, sharper text, right? That's where the aforementioned NYT article comes in, discussing the industrialized world's aging population, and specifically, their eyes:
So the next time you're thinking about installing some fancy new electronic posters, digital menu boards, or any other signage that's going to be showing lots of text, stop and think a moment about who your primary audience is. There may be some cases where the resolution that HD enables really does improve the performance of the sign. The rest of the time, though, it's a red herring that can increase production costs and reduce data transfer and display efficiencies without providing any real benefits.
As baby boomers grope their way through middle age, they are encountering the daily indignities that accompany a downward slide in visual acuity: trying to read a road map in a car at night; cellphones designed for 20-year-old eyes; the minuscule letters on a bottle of aspirin; nutrition information squeezed onto a bag of peanuts.
And unlike their parents and grandparents, they are not shy about expressing their displeasure, in some cases, taking matters into their own hands or prompting some companies to pay attention.
“Everything is so much more eye-oriented than it used to be,” said Phil Taunton, a 62-year-old optometrist in San Diego.
By their early 40s, many people are noticing the first symptoms of presbyopia, or “old man’s eyes.” As the eye ages, it is less able to take in light. At the same time, the lens inside the eye loses its flexibility. The result is blurred vision.
Every day thousands of the nation’s 77 million baby boomers turn 50, an age when reading glasses are perched with some permanence on middle-age noses.
Tags: HD, digital signage