New Image Compression Standard JPEG XS Focuses On VR And AR

One of the main causes of users feeling nauseous when using virtual reality (VR) is the latency in the image being displayed on the headset unable to keep up with the movement of the users head. The Joint Photographic Experts Groupd (JPEG) have now revealed a new image compression standard that could resolve this problem and allow for better image compression for VR, drones and self-driving cars.

Touradj Ebrahimi

Headed by Touradj Ebrahimi, a professor in EPFL’s School of Engineering (STI) the new format is titled JPEG XS. This new format will see the image-compression process using less energy, with higher-quality images being sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. The applications for JPEG XS are within the VR, augmented reality (AR) sector along with space imagery, self-driving cars and professional movie editing.

“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 less resources, and use them more wisely. This is a real paradigm shift.”

Oculus Rift & Touch

With JPEG XS, images and videos will be able to maintain an extremely high level of detail thanks to the compression process while being more energy efficient. Though the compressed files end up being a larger size, that is not a problem thanks to networks such as Wi-Fi and 5G able to steam the files rather than store them locally in the smartphone or other device, which is the end goal for JPEG XS.

JPEG compression typically reduces the image file sizes by a factor of ten and has been popular over the past 25 years. The compression process was developed to allow for images to be stored on cameras and devices with limited internal storage, along with easy sharing over communication networks. As developments in networks are rapidly bringing new opportunities to the field, JPEG XS is a response to this, aiming to tackle low image quality when streaming content without the need to store any of the files locally. It is not meant to release JPEG, and only compressed files by n more than a factor of six but is a solution to low latency.

VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on JPEG XS in the future, so stay tuned for more.