Why do virtual reality headsets make users nauseous?
One reason is latency or the almost imperceptible amount of time it takes for a display image to change in response to a user’s head movement. The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) has just introduced a new image compression standard that could resolve this problem.
With this new format, the image-compression process uses less energy, and higher-quality images can be sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. JPEG XS will have applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, space imagery, self-driving cars and professional movie editing.
JPEG compression, which has been widely popular over the past 25 years, typically reduces image file sizes by a factor of ten. The JPEG XS standard compresses files by no more than a factor of six.
This means that you could use your smartphone, tablet or computer to project a high-definition movie or a video game onto a large-screen display almost instantaneously. No cables would be required, and the image quality would be extremely high.
The industry is waiting for the final approval
“For the first time in the history of image coding, we are compressing less in order to better preserve quality, and we are making the process faster while using less energy,” says Professor Ebrahimi, who runs EPFL’s Multimedia Signal Processing Group. “We want to be smarter in how we do things. The idea is to use fewer resources, and use them more wisely. This is a real paradigm shift.”
The multimedia industry is currently awaiting final approval by the member states of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Once that is obtained, JPEG XS-based products and services can be launched.