Staying in the Lines
Digital Imaging Group (DIG) partners with the International Standards Organization (ISO) to develop JPEG2000.
Technology is in a hurry. As a result, the Digital Imaging Group (DIG), a non-profit open industry consortium based in Millbrae, CA, was established to advance digital imaging applications across wide markets of communications. In cooperation with the ISO (International Standards Organ-ization), DIG is giving imaging standards a face lift.
Digging new ground
Since its creation, JPEG became a rapidly adopted standard for World Wide Web-based images. The original JPEG standard, developed more than 10 years ago, may still meet most current needs, according to Craig McGowen, DIG marketing chair, but advances like lower-cost high-resolution cameras, escalating desktop performance, improved printing, user-friendly imaging software and the explosive rise of the Internet, have created an environment ripe for progress.
According to DIG, the JPEG2000 standard, still under development, is designed to meet these new challenges by employing Flashpix (resolution-independent file formatting) and streaming image delivery via Internet Imaging Protocol.
The new file format is scheduled to launch in December 2000, with the support of more than 75 technology companies, including Agfa, Ridgefield Park, NJ; Canon, Lake Success, NY; Corbis, Encinitas, CA; and Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY.
"The DIG plans to fill the gap for wireless imaging solutions by developing an open standard as well as leveraging existing standards when possible," cites George Lynch, programmer at Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA. "We plan to take the appropriate steps by first researching the state of the industry, identifying the problems and then putting the pieces together to create a universal, open solution."
The efforts begun several years ago have resulted in the convergence in two key areas: industry approval and developer support. According to Dr. Daniel T. Lee of Hewlett-Packard and head of the ISO, "The simple fact is that the largest digital imaging companies in the world are working together to supply important technology to our JPEG2000 effort."