Cloud Researchers Have Reduced Mobile Image Processing Bandwidth by 98%

Image Attribution: Flickr

We’ve all done it. You’re at a concert, a sports event or a family gathering. You take out your mobile device and you begin snapping pictures to upload on social media.
The current technology that is used to snap, process and retain pictures on mobile devices can be taxing to the battery of the phone. Not only that, but your super expensive smart device that just took a 20+ megapixel photograph now has to upload that uber large file into the cloud.
Could you imagine a world in which the transfers of those large, often 1MB+ sized pictures could be sent using almost no bandwidth?

Introducing the Mobile Image Processing Cloud

If you have a mobile device, you are probably well aware of any data caps on your data plan. Instead of buying more data, what if you could just make the data on your phone smaller in transit?
That’s exactly what researchers from MIT have accomplished. Essentially, you take a photo with your phone and that photo is stored in a JPEG format.
Using compression algorithms, researchers such as MIT’s Michaël Gharbi have figured out a method of reducing the size of the photo by 98%, beaming it into the cloud, then having the cloud decompress the picture so that the naked eye is unable to tell that the photo was compressed.
“We see more and more new algorithms that leverage large databases to take a decision on the pixel,” mentions Michaël Gharbi.
“These kinds of algorithm don’t do a very complex transform if you go to a local scale on the image, but they still require a lot of computation and access to the data. So that’s the kind of operation you would need to do on the cloud,” added Gharbi.
In addition, by offloading the image processing functions away from the mobile device, consumers can save up to 50-75% of their battery life, research showed.
Is cloud based image processing for mobile devices the way of the future? Tell us in the comments section below.