JPEG XS is a file format geared towards virtual reality, which was announced last week by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. As it offers less latency, or delay, the novelty should reduce the occurrence of nausea in VR glasses (virtual reality or virtual reality, in Portuguese).
The new type of compression proposes to maintain image quality and promises to consume less energy. The ideal resource for reproducing live content transmitted by drones and even autonomous cars.
Understand image file formats
JPEG XS new image format for streaming Photo: Divulgao / Epfl
Latency is one of the main problems in simulation technology. Prolonged use of VR glasses, such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, can cause nausea in some users. This occurs because of the time it takes the image to follow the human movement. The computer needs to process it before it appears on the display, which does not go unnoticed in 3D environments, especially when there are sudden changes.
The idea behind JPEG XS is to avoid this response time as much as possible. For this, the new format compresses less and decreases, at most, six times the original size. As a result, superior image quality uses less machine processing and, consequently, minimizes energy expenditure.
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What changes from JPEG to JPEG XS?
JPEG, most used today, is useful for recording data on space-limited devices, such as cameras and smartphones. Such a function is only possible thanks to compression, capable of reducing the weight of the image by up to ten times. On the other hand, in applications that need to be reproduced live, such as virtual reality, JPEG does not prove to be an ideal solution since there are several factors that impact the final result, such as latency, for example.
JPEG can be thought of as a specific format for download, and JPEG XS in the type of file suitable for streaming. Because it is less compressed, the final weight is higher. However, it is not meant to be stored, but transmitted. The new format is not intended to be a rival to JPEG, as each has a different function.
JPEG XS promises to reduce response time in video transmission Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / dnetc
JPEG XS also offers some advantages for content producers. The file format can be transmitted directly from the camera to the editing software, instantly. In addition, the code extension is open and has a universal HDR format.
According to Touradj Ebrahimi, a professor at the EPFLs School of Engineering responsible for the project, the use of JPEG XS will only be possible due to the advancement of Internet speed. With better quality of Wi-Fi networks and the arrival of 5G, scheduled for 2020, this file can facilitate the real-time transmission of applications, which response time can compromise human security, such as the use of drones and video streaming of autonomous cars. Another application would be in the capture of spatial images by probes.
The expectation that the new compression will start to be used in the film industry in the coming years. The new format, as the Joint Photographic Experts Group informs, will only be available for the next generation of camera devices and other devices. In editing software, support for JPEG XS must arrive through an update.