The term "digital" in reference to camouflage design has had several meanings throughout the modern era. Contemporarily, the most accurate definition would be a camouflage pattern that has been designed using computer algorithms that are programmed to create micropatterns for effective disruption (conventional, analog and/or organic camouflage designs utilize macropatterns). The theory behind micropatterns is that large blotches of color with sharp outlines are easier to see, while "blurring" or "dithering" the edges of the colored patches makes the outlines more difficult to discern. In its common usage, however, the term digital has come to refer to any camouflage design that incorporates pixels rather than organic shapes to create the design. Although the term "pixelated" camouflage is more accurate, digital has become a part of the common vocabulary amongst military and collector communities; it will undoubtedly remain in common parlance for as long as pixelated designs continue to be produced.
The first country to adopt a true digital pattern was Canada, which introduced its CADPAT (Canadian Disruptive Pattern) design in 1997. This was followed by the MARPAT design of the US Marine Corps, which in fact is a direct derivative of the original Canadian pattern. Since then, many countries have adopted pixelated or "digital" camouflage designs, some quite effective, and others having a closer relationship to modern fashion than pragmatic camouflage design.