NCST Working On Technology For Compressing 3D Data

Mumbai: | Updated: Aug 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
The National Centre for Software Technology (NCST) is developing a 3D compression technology which will allow 3D data to be rapidly exchanged on the Web and on a low bandwidth connectivity. The oragnisation is also contemplating alliances with other academic institutions for this project.

The Arizona State University, for example, has expressed a desire to collaborate with NCST and the organisation is not ruling out working with global companies either.

NCST is an autonomous body, involved in research and development, under the ministry of communications and information technology.

NCSTs former director SP Mudur pointed out that there is a move on the Web to be more 3D oriented. A 3D piece of data, he explains, tends to be large and unstructured. Besides, this data should be accessible on the Net and available even on a computer with lower capability.

A site viewed may reside on any server anywhere in the world. The data is basically moved from one site to the other. And there is usually a large amount of data, which takes a lot of time and uses a lot of bandwidth. One solution for this is compression of data before it is transmitted and decompressing it before it is used. Like the mpeg for video, jpeg for images and mp3 for music, something similar is needed for 3D data and this is what NCST is working on, he explained.

Professor Mudur along with NCSTs research scientist Dinesh Shikhari have formulated a method based on the premise that most complex 3D models are built around repeating features.

The idea is to recognise such features and not repeat it in the model.

The basic idea was to devise a method and write a program which could detect such features automatically. Compression depends on deleting the redundancy automatically and this is what the technology does, he said.

He added that this is futuristic technology, the need for which is likely to arise only at a later stage. There are other groups worldwide who are looking at similar technologies, he said.

He added that several IT firms have shown interest in this compression technology.

However, digital opportunities would require multiple factors like low-cost access to a digital device, communication infrastructure and relevant content to be commercially successful. Most important, it should be human-centric.

This technology addresses the human-centric problem. We are publishing this paper soon and we hope that we can evolve and implement it, which can then be used on the Web by all, says Prof Mudur.