Belgium’s Longstanding Tradition in Image Compression; Vrije Universiteit Brussel and iMinds Host JPEG Website

Brussels, 29 January, 2015 - The department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO) – an iMinds research group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel – redesigned and hosts the website of the Joint Photographic Experts Group (better known as the JPEG committee). JPEG is an extremely popular compression standard for photographs. Belgium has a longstanding tradition in contributing to image compression standards. Professor Peter Schelkens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – iMinds): “The JPEG committee is already preparing the next disruptive step”.
The JPEG website is the premier forum by which the JPEG committee communicates and interacts with the industry, research institutes and the broader public and as such plays an important role in the promotion and further development of its standards. The new JPEG website provides up-to-date information on all of the committee’s activities and suite of standards, including references to software implementations, publications and specification documents. The website is actively maintained with regular updates, press releases and the latest news on the committee’s activities. In the past month, the website attracted more than 10,000 visitors from around the world.

Billions of images

The Joint Photographic Experts Group is the driving force behind the popular JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, JPSearch and more recently the JPEG XT, JPEG Systems and JPEG AR families of imaging standards. Every day, billions of images are created in this format on people’s cameras and smartphones and distributed – among others – across social media and photo repositories. Its successor, the JPEG 2000 standard is used in digital cinema theatres, medical imaging, cultural heritage archiving and communication between television production facilities. 

“The transition from analog film to digital media, facilitated by the JPEG compression standards, has had quite a disruptive impact on the marketplace over the last 10 years,” says prof. dr. Peter Schelkens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel - iMinds). “And the JPEG committee is already preparing the next disruptive step. In the coming years, new types of still picture cameras will become available – with new functionalities such as refocusing, zooming, 3D viewing, high dynamic range, etc. This will change the way we will produce and consume digital pictures, and the JPEG committee is preparing for that by defining an image compression format that will guarantee interoperability between these cameras and the applications and services building upon them. The new website, revamped and hosted by Vrije Universiteit Brussel – iMinds, will be instrumental to communicating those technological advances to the world.”

Belgium’s longstanding tradition

Belgium has a longstanding tradition in contributing to image compression standards. Exemplary are the contributions of Ingrid Daubechies, a VUB alumnae, who laid the foundation for the wavelet theory and as such for the JPEG 2000 compression standard, and the extension of this standard by Prof. Schelkens’ team to support compression of volumetric data as produced by medical 3D scanners.

Prof. dr. Peter Schelkens

Prof. dr. Peter Schelkens is chairing the standardization of coding and analysis standards in JPEG and also acts as JPEG public relations chair. He recently received a coveted European ERC Research Grant to study compression systems for future holographic imaging systems. The Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels to which prof. Schelkens belongs has a broad and thorough expertise on image, video and 3D compression technologies. As an iMinds researcher, Prof Schelkens is heavily involved in several industrial projects that leverage his JPEG expertise, thus contributing to the further evolution of JPEG standards.

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Prof. dr. Peter Schelkens
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Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO) is:
Peter Schelkens is also associated to iMinds (

Press Relations Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sicco Wittermans – Tel: 02-629 21 37 – Mobile: 0473-96 41 37 – e-Mail: sicco.wittermans @ 

Press Relations iMinds:
Wim Van Daele – / +32 9 331 48 23