The IBC2019 Best Technical Paper award will be presented to Sebastian Schwarz and Mika Pesonen of Nokia Technologies and Jani Nurminen, co-founder of Innogiant. Their paper, Real-time decoding and AR playback of the emerging MPEG video-based point cloud compression standard, is a comprehensive and concise look at the prospects for delivering immersive experiences to mobile devices, using the currently available hardware.
Reflecting the rapidly growing interest in augmented and virtual reality experiences, the authors are part of a research team working on new standards and their implementation. MPEG (ISO/IEC SC29 WG11) has developed an ambitious programme for the compression and transmission of time-varying, three dimensional objects using a technique known as point-cloud coding. Once decoded, these objects can be easily incorporated into VR or AR productions. The proposed technique is known as V-PCC, for video point cloud coding.
A clever feature of the coding is that it takes advantage of existing video coding technology, such as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC or HEVC. Decoders for these codecs are already found in today’s smartphones, so this should accelerate the time to market of the new technology as well as delivering high compression efficiency and image quality.
“This paper looks at the central issue of this approach: the necessity to transform and synchronise three simultaneous streams, bearing the geometry information, the texture information, and the occupancy in 3D space,” said Dr Paul Entwistle, chair of the IBC technical papers committee. “It impressed the committee with its practical analysis – discussing the possibilities and the challenges still to be faced, while recognising that the goal is something consumers are actively seeking.”
Sebastian Schwarz said “As we move towards the publication of the standard in early 2020, this paper will serve as a reference for the V-PCC AR playback source code. Clearly, IBC is the best place to share and discuss this work, and we were pleased our paper was selected for the technical papers programme. To receive the award for the best technical paper is a real honour. Our thanks go to the peer reviewers who selected our work.”
The paper will be presented in the conference at 15.30 on Saturday 14 September. The trophy will be presented during the IBC Awards Ceremony on Sunday 15 September, which will also see the new Social Responsibility and Young Pioneer Awards revealed for the first time, alongside the IBC Innovation Awards and the International Honour for Excellence. All IBC visitors are welcomed at the Awards Ceremony, which is free.