PicAdd overview

When JPEG was created, it was sound design philosophy to keep HTML files under 20KB in size, and many users were connected to the Internet via modems supporting 9600 baud or less. Users often paid for Internet connection pr. megabyte per month. There was a need for a standard that supported compression of image size without visible loss.

What is JPEG, EXIF, JFIF: A brief explanation

While JPEG was a great solution for the needs in the early internet-days, and has been adopted as the standard for photographic images, it has not evolved to suit the modern uses (e.g. no practical limits to file size) and the enormous number of snapshots taken now. In 1990 photos on the internet were traditional silverbased negatives, developed and brought to paperform - and then scanned, manipulated in photo editor software and finally uploaded (via a slow modem). Today hundreds of million of photos are taken with smartphones and uploaded via fast wireless connection - daily!

Over 2 billion people carry smartphones that can snap photos, shoot video, record voices and take notes. But these devices are bound to the habits that were forced upon users 20 years ago, based on the now outdated limitations in computer and network speed. Videos are popular if shorter than six seconds, when editing a video is generally not done; if longer than 60 seconds, even edited video is less popular. Photos are fun - but there is neither time nor facilities to sort, clean up and annotate the hundreds of shots that are taken at popular events.

To determine what was most relevant in a new generation of JPEG, a lot of research was conducted and common sense tapped:

PicAdd White Paper: Picture Your Child Ahead
PicAdd White Paper: Sound Advice
PicAdd White Paper: Two is better than one
PicAdd White Paper: When a Picture’s Worth a Thousand Stories

This shortlist describes the primary additions PicAdd gives to JPEG:

  • Unlimited possibilities to add metadata (keywords, text, image description)
  • Definition of POI (Points of Interest) and ROI (Regions of Interest)
  • Sound

PicAdd is an independent extension to the original JPEG file format. The image part is 100 percent compatible with standard JPEG files. And while this standard is still useful, PicAdd is one-of-a-kind, defining an interface and a file format extension that enables the JPEG file to include:

  • Sound(s) in the file as well as metadata controlling the play
  • Region(s) of interest (ROI)
  • Userdefined metadata

Although the image part of the JPEG performs well and satisfies most user needs, its metadata aspect has not been updated and is rarely used. PicAdd is attending to this, and also includes improvements that enable PicAdd to be prepared for future needs. Ten or 15 years ago the use of digital photos was vastly different than today. Facebook , Instagram, Twitter and many more social networks and websites are why enough photos are taken every day to fill an ocean, a volume the original file format was not prepared to support. PicAdd is, though, as the platform for search engines, tools, apps and other software. This allows you, the end user, to not only enjoy that picture you took on the camping trip last summer in Yosemite, but to find, index and digital ally annotate it as well.

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