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High-definition image data compressed in an instant!

  • SadoshimaFeatures such as these could be put to effective use in sectors of industry such as factories that handle large amounts of images. They can also be applied to low-load transfer from strict environments such as marine surveys or even be applied to the downsizing of image display terminals. Also, because image compression is closely related to the usage of "big data*" that is presently in the spotlight, we believe the application of this will spread steadily.
    • *This refers to the improvement of corporate competitiveness through the utilization of the ever-increasing volume of data such as member information, data collected from various sensors, and data posted on SNS.

Picture:Image of application of StarPixelLarger viewImage of application of StarPixel

  • MitaCould you give us some examples of where it is already in use?
  • SadoshimaHow about the example of the West Nippon Expressway Engineering Kansai Co., Ltd.?
  • MitaI love driving and often use the expressways. Please!
  • SadoshimaWest Nippon Expressway Engineering Co., Ltd. performs road maintenance by taking high-speed photos of the road surface while driving along the expressway in a car with a camera and personal computer on board to check for any damaged locations. They have adopted StarPixel in the latest system they have newly installed. At first, West Nippon Expressway Engineering Co., Ltd. used to store the images taken by the on-board camera on a personal computer with no compression. They wanted to compress the photos, but due to processing on the personal computer not being able to keep up with incoming photos they couldn't do so. Several tens of high-definition photos are taken every second. However, by using StarPixel, they can now compress photos simultaneously as they take them with the camera and store the compressed photos on the personal computer since low load is placed on the computer during image compression.
  • MitaSo, that's why they adopted StarPixel.
  • SadoshimaYes, that's right. Previously, the amount of storage space for storing images was limited which, in turn, restricted the distance the vehicle could travel to take photos of the road surface. However, I've heard that StarPixel has extended that distance twofold.
  • MitaStarPixel is effective in more ways than you would imagine, isn't it!
  • SadoshimaTalking about usage, StarPixel is also being used as far away as space.
  • MitaIn space!?
  • SadoshimaYes, that's right. The images taken by the Venus probe "Akatsuki" are compressed with StrarPixel format before they are sent to earth. I heard that they were originally going to use JPEG2000, however, it took 60 seconds or more to compress a single image. This was too slow and impractical. StarPixel was able to compress a single image in about one second. That's the circumstances that led to StarPixel being adopted on the probe. By the way, StarPixel will be used as the main image compression method in the asteroid probe "Hayabusa 2" scheduled to be launched in 2014.
  • MitaI see that StarPixel is being put to use in a wide range of fields from expressways to space and is something which support our lives. Today’s talk really enlightened me upon its future potential! In spite of your busy schedule, thank you for your time.
  • SadoshimaIt was a pleasure, thank you for listening. Thank you very much.

Conclusion
In this installment, we heard about StarPixel, the proprietary image compression format developed by NEC. I'm surprised to learn that it not only responds to the needs of industry but is also being used in the expressways and, ultimately, in space. Upon listening to today's talk, I really felt the breadth of its potential. Some of you might come across scenes and situations where StarPixel is in use. If you do, I hope you remember today's talk.

See you in the next installment of "MiTa TV"!

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