University of the Bath develops vector-based video, may retire the pixel

The pixel does the job for most digital imagery -- it sure makes for a fine shirt -- but it's not so hot for video, where growing resolutions chew up gobs of bandwidth. There may be a wiser strategy coming from the University of Bath, whose researchers have developed a more efficient approach to movie codecs. Their new format uses vectors to render footage with colored contours that demand fewer resources than a dot-by-dot approach. While vector-based rendering isn't original in itself, the researchers' method is supposedly unique in filling the gaps between the contours with the kind of visual quality a pro videographer would crave. The university team is confident enough that it's talking to major companies about using the codec for post-production tools, and sees it spreading to mobile devices where connection speeds and storage are at a premium. It could take years for vector-based video to catch on; if the technology ever upsets the pixel's reign, though, more than a few Vectrex owners may see it as poetic justice.