A Northamptonshire company which hopes to improve the quality of digital photographs with a method used by the FBI for storing fingerprints has received an award from the government.
Rubber Band Limited, based in Blakesley, has received a Smart Award for £24,742 from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The company's managing director said the goal is to make files for items like digital cameras and phones smaller without compromising quality.
Phil Todd said: "A key requirement in all of these applications is the ability to squeeze images into a small file size, so that pictures can be stored in a memory card, and download times are kept to a minimum."
Busting the 'blocks'
He said compression usually breaks images into blocks, which can lead to the "strange blocks and stripes" viewers sometimes notice on digital TV and DVDs.
Mr Todd said the company is developing a way to compress images without first breaking them into blocks, leading to smaller files and better quality pictures.
He said: "This technology means that we could soon see credit-card size camcorders that can capture broadcast quality video."
Rubber Band Limited, formed in 1999, specialises in multimedia, image and video coding applications and has customers in Europe, the USA and the Far East.
Smart is a DTI initiative to encourage local firms to come up with innovative ideas to boost business.