Tackling a major on-line frustration, an Israeli start-up uses video technology and unique algorithms to compress photos to a manageable size, while ensuring the highest quality. Hipix is the first new compression system to come along in awhile – and the only one that can do the job.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but as far as the Internet is concerned, a picture is worth a thousand kilobytes – or even megabytes. And unlike the descriptive advantage inherent in the comparison of a photo to lots of words, a byte-heavy photo is not always a good thing – especially if you’re planning to e-mail it or post it in cyberspace. That problem has now been solved with the unique Hipix application from Israel, that crunches down photos without reducing their quality.
Meir Kollman, CEO and president of Israeli startup Human Monitoring offers this interesting statistic: "At least 20 percent of all data traffic currently being pushed over the Internet is in the form of photos, and with the increased capabilities of digital cameras – especially those in phones – the traffic load on networks is increasing all the time."
That extra load is prompting services providers to force consumers to pay more for data services, or cut their data loads. Many of those photos are sent directly from the smartphones via e-mail to friends, or to social network sites like Facebook, exacerbating the problem.
The secret’s in the video compression
There is a third way to send photos, says Kollman – the Human Monitoring way, via its unique Hipix application, which crunches down photos without compromising their quality. "Especially now, when more and more phones come with built-in high-quality cameras, Hipix can go a long way to reducing traffic on the network while allowing users to enjoy and share high-quality photos," he says.
The more ‘information’ – the more data, in the form of bits and bytes – in a picture, the better the quality of the photo, and most digital cameras give you the option of taking photos of higher or lower quality (with the latter resulting in smaller photos). Lower-quality photos may be missing some of the rich detail in a scene, but photographers who plan on uploading their photos to the Internet or sending them by e-mail often choose the low-quality setting, to ensure that their photos are small enough to send quickly.
The problem is that those photos usually don’t look that good, given the extra compression used to keep them small. Even higher-quality photos are significantly compressed, as they are saved in Jpeg format, a compression system that hasn’t been updated for 15 years, according to Kollman.
Hipix is the first new compression system to come along in awhile – and the only one that can compress a photo to a manageable size, while ensuring the highest-quality photo possible. "We’ve developed unique, patented algorithms that ensure that photos look great, yet compresses them by as much as 60 percent or even 80% of their original size," states Kollman.