LizardTech, Seattle, is a developer of image compression software that gives users the ability to reduce the file size of large images by as much as 40 to 1 with no loss of resolution. This compression utility, called MrSID, allows image managers the flexibility to store and distribute images through a variety of channels including local computer networks or over the Internet. Current markets for the product are geospatial imagery such as maps and aerial photography, publishing, and health care imagery.
WTC is funding an FTI project between LizardTech and Eve Riskin, UW Electrical Engineering Dept., to conduct research that would enable the software to transmit digital images over wireless networks. With this added functionality, users could view images on wireless hand-held devices such as Palm Pilots, cell phones, and other wireless communications products. Currently, because the rates of wireless data transmission are so much slower than wired links, graphics can’t be transmitted to wireless devices. “The forward error correction technique we apply aims to maximize the expected signal-to-noise ratio of the image under a model of packet loss on the communication channel,” says Eve Riskin. “The goal is that the first few passes of the image are received quickly, even in the event of extreme data loss. This will enable a useful image to be reconstructed right away and will prevent stalling.”
This project is part of LizardTech’s overall plan to enter the e-commerce and consumer markets. LizardTech, a 70-person company, estimates that 20 new jobs will be created as a result of the project.
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