Foveated image coding system and method for image bandwidth reduction
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A foveated imaging system, which can be implemented on a general purpose computer and greatly reduces the transmission bandwidth of images has been developed. This system has demonstrated that significant reductions in bandwidth can be achieved while still maintaining access to high detail at any point in an image. The system is implemented with conventional computer, display, and camera hardware. It utilizes novel algorithms for image coding and decoding that are superior both in degree of compression and in perceived image quality and is more flexible and adaptable to different bandwidth requirements and communications applications than previous systems. The system utilizes novel methods of incorporating human perceptual properties into the coding the decoding algorithms providing superior foveation. One version of the system includes a simple, inexpensive, parallel pipeline architecture, which enhances the capability for conventional and foveated data compression. Included are novel applications of foveated imaging in the transmission of pre-recorded video (without eye tracking), and in the use of alternate pointing devices for foveation.