JPEG XS: Streaming VR Lighter, Better, Faster, For Less

J.C. Kuang, Analyst Devices & Technology, Enterprise Transformation, Insight Articles

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Conditions are becoming more and more favorable for businesses striving to incorporate VR technologies into their offerings or workflows. As April draws to a close, the Joint Photographic Experts Group is expected to finalize deliberations and implement a groundbreaking new format which takes full advantage of modern broadband networks.

JPEG XS, a successor to JPEG format, is ideal for streaming video and rendering virtual reality at significantly higher quality using less power. The format boasts a new 6:1 cap on compression factor, as opposed to the 10:1 cap in JPEG, and promises to be a subtle but profoundly disruptive influence on streaming and cloud-rendering XR content.

In conjunction with faster and more robust performance on upcoming 5G networks, businesses can expect richer output from developers and content creators. Unlike other major developments in XR technology, JPEG XS’s wide potential reach and democratized, open-source nature will make its presence felt relatively quickly. Costs will inevitably shift downwards as content pipelines are able to move more using less. This should prompt savvy practitioners to revisit cost-benefit analyses on implementations of XR strategy across all verticals.

JPEG XS In The Field

For instance, most popular enterprise AR headsets currently on the market currently support software focused on remote guidance for field technicians. As these applications rely heavily on two-way video streaming, JPEG XS will likely prove most beneficial to these use cases in the short term.

The ability to stream video content up to 8K quality with minimal latency will free up bandwidth which could be used to transmit other forms of data between administrators and users, such as information gathered from external hardware sensors reading user gestures. In addition, using less power to stream said data will enable users in the field to benefit from AR guidance for longer sessions, further improving productivity.

Meanwhile, in the long term, early adopters of cloud rendering will be ahead of every free to shift focus on optimizing content pipelines and workloads. For instance, improvements in latency afforded by JPEG XS could vastly increase the viability of virtual environments for business meetings and real-time collaborative 3D design between colleagues across different physical locations. By the time next-generation streaming technology reaches the mainstream, enterprise organizations well-versed in their strengths and limitations will know what content streams best in XR.

JPEG XS represents a massive and imminent shift in the way digital graphics are deployed and consumed in an increasingly mobile and wireless-oriented landscape. The greatest benefit to business leaders will be in answering the question of how to harness this streamlined format, and efficiently redistribute a surplus of resources in content delivery.

To learn more about Microsoft and the development of mixed reality, including Greenlight Insights' 5-year outlook, order the new Fall update of the 2018 Virtual Reality Industry Report.