Brit researchers aim to replace the pixel

The age of the pixel is fast coming to an end as a team of British researchers  replace the technology with vectors.

According to ExtremeTech, vector graphics have been around for a while. They are  made out of geometric primitives, are infinitely scalable, making them the ideal image format for illustrations, clipart, maps, typography, and Flash.

However, pixel bitmaps have control over streaming videos, digital cameras, movie editing, and video game textures. This is despite the fact that as display resolution increases, so does the number of pixels and larger bitmaps are taxing the computer. They can’t scale and changing formats is rubbish.

Now Philip Willis and John Patterson of the University of Bath in England have come up with a codec that replaces pixel bitmaps with vectors.  Dubbed Vectorised Streaming Video (VSV) it converts a bitmap image into vectors.

The pair had been working with vectorised photographic images converting bitmap images into perfect, vectorised copies but this gets things, literally, moving.

The Bath researchers are working with Root6 Technology which is an outfit that specialises in transcoding, as well as Smoke & Mirrors which is a post-processing studio, to bring the codec to market. Smoke & Mirrors claims there will be working demonstrations of VSV within the next three to six months.  It should take five years for the pixel to go the way of the Norwegian Blue.

The algorithm is similar to the auto-vectorisation tools, such as Adobe Live Trace. Willis and Patterson claim to have fixed the problem of colouring of spaces between geometric shapes and made things photorealistic.

It could also mean that it is possible for cops to go to their computer screens and blow up crucial pictures, just like they have done in the movies since the 1960s.