tech case: Tangentix improves compression 


Applied on subjects from ancient bones to the latest video games, technology developed by Tangentix, a spin out start-up from the University of Bradford in Yorkshire, England, has focused on making it easier to compress digital files.

As part of a project funded by the Technology Strategy Board, Tangentix partnered with Onteca, an independent games developer, and Bradford University to develop and test its approach to enable 3D graphics to be downloaded via the web to any device in a speedier fashion. 

An opportunity to test the technology came through Bradford University’s Archaeology department, which has a 3D digital archive of images of rare, fragile bones from leprosarium patients that are used by clinicians, bone specialists and archaelogists.



Above: an image of a bone from Bradford University's Archaelogy department used to develop digital compression techniques.


Tangentix had met Onteca previously. But winning the TSB funding cemented their relationship and the team were able to focus staff and resources to solve key problems around compression algorithms and the delivery of 3D geometry over the web.

The University of Bradford was able to allocate a dedicated member of staff to the project who otherwise would not have been available.

Paul Sheppard, CTO Tangentix, says: The project has enabled us to collaborate effectively and eliminate key technology risks using our shared knowledge. As a result, we have increased the number of opportunities we could pursue further with a view to commercialisation.” 

Tangentix has now used its compression technology on more than 20 games including Call of Duty: Black Ops II. It also sees 3D printing as offering interesting future opportunities. 

Tangentix holds key patents on these techniques and others developed for other different compression challenges. More recently Tangentix has developed its unique Progresive DRM™ technology to allow games to be distributed to users for free without worsening the piracy problems that concern most publishers.

For the full version of this case study, visit the Knowledge Transfer Network here.

For more information on Tangentix, visit