Piper Pied – a copy of an idea from the series, working with a lossless image compression algorithm


Brother and sister team – Peter Ma and Nancy Ghaly presented an idea called Piper Pied – a lossless compression algorithm for online images. The project was presented at the Disrupt NY Hackaton convention.

The sibling startup is a kind of creative development of a venture with a closely sounding name Pied Piper – a company that developed a similar lossless compression algorithm. However, the second company is fictional as it appears only on the pages of HBO in the series called Silicon Valley.

The idea came during a sibling conversation they had on the way to the convention. They talked about the series they watched and ideas for Hackathon. Nancy kept asking “what about Pied Piper? Is it possible?”.


Faithful fans of the HBO series, Ma and Ghaly spent the next 24 hours joking about the “crazy” idea while creating a version of the lossless image compression program that could identify people’s faces.


As they describe, “the algorithm detects a face and compresses everything but the face itself. As a result, the quality of the face is preserved while reducing image quality that is not noticeable to the human eye. Thanks to this solution, the sharpness of the image remains unchanged while reducing its size.

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There are several uses for Piper Pied right away, especially considering the fact that every day we send more and more files straight into the Internet cloud. Ma claims that the so-called “Datageddon” is something very real, referring to the scene from the premiere of the second season of Silicon Vallley, where the founder of the technological giant Hooli mentions a “dark future” where “they will come like a catastrophe – missing data, rationing data black data markets, “calling the event” Datageddon. “

Both characters from the show and Ghaly’s siblings argue that at the current stage of technology development, data reduction is a very important aspect. Data storage is very cheap in the United States, but it can be expensive in other parts of the world. While higher quality images are produced continuously, we need methods that allow us to easily transfer and store them.

As the siblings mentioned, “The quality of the images keeps improving, which is reflected in the size. If you have 5 GB of data and you can reduce it to 2 GB – you will think about it “

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The algorithm can be tested at this address: Pied Piper.

[źródło: techcrunch.com]

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