m.Pixel: the Internet mobile images
Specialist in wavelet technologies, one of the most developed techniques in image compression, the start-up of Sophia is attempting to create a new standard.
Time is hard for start-ups on the French Riviera as everywhere else. However, there aren't only collapsing companies. Established at the CICA of Sophia Antipolis, /www.mpixel.com/">m.Pixel, funded by Patrick Haddad, is on the way to succeed its rise in power on a market niche however difficult: a new standard in the image transmission for the Internet mobile. Expert in wavelet technologies (one of the most developed techniques in image compression), Patrick Haddad had chosen, setting up its company in March 2000, to work together with the 'Atelier de l'Innovation' It is this management company which found a manager for it, Eric Laporte, telecom engineer who took the position of CEO, and brought funds as well. (a capital contribution of 6 million francs when the company was set up).Partnership with France Telecom and the AFPWith this capital, m.Pixel, for which the founder Patrick Haddad is in charge of the technical direction, could involve competences they needed to develop demonstration and commercial versions of its software. Its technology of stationary pattern image processing and compression was well advanced compared to the current JPEG standard. It lead to competitive advantages in terms of transmission rapidity, quality, adaptation abilities to the different terminals, storage size, or restitution flexibility (multi-resolution, progressive decompression for example). Then, the products had to be developed.The basic idea is to use this technique for mobiles. However, on the way, it turned out that the possibility to download an image from two up to ten times faster than the current system could also interest the diffusion of the Internet PC. Thus if a first agreement was signed with Mitsubishi, the team of m.Pixel (19 people) currently works in partnership with France Telecom and the AFP (Agence France Presse) for the diffusion of pictures on mobiles and PCs. Whereas on the other side, another agreement is planned with one of the most powerful mobile manufacturers worldwide.This will stimulate the dynamism of m.Pixel. The start-up should move in the premises of 450 square metres in Sophia Antipolis quite soon, the CICA now being too small for them. They will continue their challenge there: ensure a success to a new standard and revolutionize the digital image. It is an enormous challenge for a colossal market.