Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

In Focus

Stare a moment at this O. Chances are you can’t make out the words at either end of this line. That’s because extreme detail can be resolved only by the small slice of the human retina called the fovea. Our eyes compensate for this limitation by jumping from spot to spot. Now researchers are mimicking this phenomenon in an effort to avoid sending “wasted” pixels in digital images over the Internet. Foveal Point, server-based software developed by New York University computer scientist Chee Yap, sends high-resolution detail only for the area of an image at which a user’s mouse is pointing. The user specifies that area’s radius, and the surrounding image remains indistinct. The result: the bandwidth needed to download images such as satellite photos can be cut by as much as 95 percent, depending on the size of the foveated area and the haziness of the background. Yap hopes to license the software to a company that will adapt it for commercial Web browsers and mobile devices. “Every browser should have such smart’ viewers,” Yap says, so that users can “go to any site and view arbitrarily large and high-resolution images.”

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Web

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me