JPEG is awarded 2019 Engineering Emmy

IEC, ISO and ITU committee for JPEG are honoured for their innovative work

The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” could not be more apt in today’s visual world.

2019 Engineering Emmy awarded to JPEG committee
The JPEG committee receiving the 2019 Engineering Emmy Award

We have become a planet of avid photographers, capturing all manner of moments on our devices and sharing them through a growing number of online platforms. For example, Instagram reported 500 million daily active stories that users posted worldwide this year, up 100 million from 2018, while numbers of Snapchat and Whatsapp users posting photos and video grew to 190 and 500 million respectively in the first quarter of 2019. Supporting this data is JPEG, used by 71.6% of all websites, according to Web Technology Surveys.

The global experts who developed the standard for JPEG were awarded an Emmy by the US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the 71st Engineering Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on 24 October.

IEC and ISO Joint Technical Committee (JTC 1) develops international standards for information technology. The ISO/IEC and ITU Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is part of JTC 1 subcommittee 29 which covers coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information.

Teruhiko Suzuki, who chairs ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29, said upon accepting the award: “JPEG is used everywhere, all the time. Every day around the world, a huge number of JPEG images are created, uploaded and shared. It’s a great achievement by the JPEG committee.”

A star is born

Introduced in 1992, JPEG has been universally adopted to preserve high-quality imagery in television production and its tangential yet essential workflows. The Standard ISO/IEC 10918, Information technology – Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images, comprises seven parts.

The television industry has benefited greatly from JPEG, which has put users first by providing royalty-free open standards, practical implementation in both hardware and software, and the ability to add in options as required.

Images and video represent huge amounts of data. The initial motivation for the JPEG standard was to find a way to compress this content in order to make it affordably manageable, storable and transferable, while maintaining the image quality in its reduced size.

Given today’s dominant global trend of video and image content usage, the continued work of JPEG remains very important.