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Xerox innovation at work: Automatic Image Enhancement

At the Xerox research centers in Webster, NY, and Grenoble, France, scientists are working on Automatic Image Enhancement (AIE)  to make digital color images look better and fresher. AIE is now available with the Xerox FreeFlow Process Manager software. The latest addition is Local Contrast Enhancement  a patented solution based on a combination of heuristic and machine learning approaches. The new technology is very fast and can automatically optimize an image's exposure region-by-region...

OVERVIEW

Visit the Xerox innovation websiteXerox-developed technology that makes digital color images better gets fresh features in latest version


Pictures are one of the best reasons for printing in color. But pictures with bad color can be worse than no pictures and no color.

While software exists to manually "fix" digital image problems, it requires time and a skilled craftsman. In the late 1990's, Xerox Corporation, which has some of the world's top scientists in the fields of digital imaging and color science, took up the challenge of developing a system that could automatically correct imperfect images without messing up good ones. Its researchers developed Automatic Image Enhancement technology, or AIE, which automated color correction in Xerox systems.

The basic AIE algorithms work magic on pictures - brightening underexposed images, sharpening fuzzy prints, or burning the haze off a vacation scene to let the bright colors shine through. When originally introduced, AIE corrected the most common amateur photographer's mistakes.

But with continuing innovations from Xerox scientists in Webster, N.Y., and Grenoble, France, the technology just keeps getting better and better. It now can correct the shortcomings found in images clipped from a Web page or compressed too tightly for a faster e-mail. And the newest version of AIE can work on specific problem spots and incorporates a new algorithm that can automatically determine whether an image will be improved prior to applying enhancements to those areas.

AIE technology can be applied in the print driver on the user's computer, as a prepress service, or within printer software itself. In all cases, it analyzes the image and, if needed, it brews up a custom prescription of image processing elements and applies them to the image.

Additional information: Visit the Xerox innovation website
August 17, 2006
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