The JPEG XR Technical Spec Work is Done

The headline for this blog post is the headline of the press release from the most recent meeting of the Joint Photographic Expert’s Group (JPEG) Committee.  The JPEG XR standard has advanced to Draft International standard balloting.  Basically, that means the specification is frozen for implementers; there will not be any more technical changes.  The press release goes on to say that International Standardization is expected to be completed this year.  Woohoo!

Here’s the excerpt from the press release discussing JPEG XR:

JPEG XR is a new compression format supporting high dynamic range and promises to bring a new level of successful user experience to users of digital cameras. JPEG XR advanced to draft international standard balloting at the San Francisco meeting, entering the final phases of standardization and freezing the specification for implementers. The committee expects the JPEG XR International Standard (IS) to be published later this year. The JPEG committee is hosting a meeting to provide a special preview of the standard and discuss possible approaches to raw file compression. JPEG XR offers the potential to give cost and compression benefits to users producing high-quality, high dynamic-range images.

The complete press release from the meeting is here:  http://jpeg.org/newsrel24.html

This is really exciting news!  As most followers of this blog know, JPEG XR is based directly on HD Photo, the new photography file format that Microsoft introduced with the launch of Windows Vista.  JPEG XR offers some great benefits for photographers compared to JPEG, or other file formats.  It’s great to see this technology is now being embraced as an International standard.  I expect this will dramatically accelerate its adoption in cameras and digital photography software and services.

On a Personal Note… The Return of Bill’s Blog

Yes, this is indeed my first blog post in nearly 14 months.  That’s sad, and certainly not the way to manage a blog that you expect anyone to spend the time to read. It’s time to fix that.

A lot has been happening in the last year.  First, I changed jobs.  As the development work on HD Photo reached an end and the efforts transitioned to standardization, I moved on to a different challenge.  Since last November I’ve been a Group Manager at Microsoft Live Labs, responsible for the Seadragon Technology.  I’ve continued to stay involved in JPEG XR standardization, but HD Photo and JPEG XR is no longer my primary job responsibility. 

While several folks from Microsoft been actively involved, JPEG XR standardization belongs to the JPEG Committee, not to Microsoft.  It is the committee's responsibility to provide any all public information about the overall standards process and status of the JPEG XR working group.  So, up until now (with the conclusion of the technical standards development work), there really wasn’t a whole lot of HD Photo information for me to blog about.

The work we’re doing in the Seadragon team builds directly on some of the key objectives we first defined for HD Photo.  Our team is extremely excited by JPEG XR and will be working hard to take advantage of it’s advanced capabilities.

My goal is to provide more frequent updates here on the blog.  At the same time, I’m going to expand the focus to a broader discussion of digital photography and imaging technology, with a strong focus on JPEG XR, Seadragon (including Silverlight Deep Zoom, Photosynth, Seadragon Ajax and Seadragon Mobile), and related technology and industry activities.  Your ideas and suggestions are always welcome!

Bill Crow
Seadragon Group Manager
Microsoft Live Labs

Follow me on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/billcrow


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