What is Digital ICE?
Digital Image Correction and Enhancement or Digital ICE is a set of technologies that is related in the production of an altered image in a variety of frequency spectra.
These technologies aim to render an image as more usable by Fourier or other techniques used in filtering. These types of technologies were most actively used in the 1960s and early 1970s in the fields of medical and strategic reconnaissance electronics.
The term “Digital ICE” was initially applied specifically to a proprietary technology that was developed by the Austin Development Center of Kodak, which was formerly known as Applied Science Fiction, which automatically removes surface defects, including dusts and scratches from scanned images.
It is a hardware-based method which automatically and effectively removes dust and scratch marks without affecting the composition of the image that was scanned. However, using this method in scanning images usually takes time and it also utilized more of your system resources. Compared to other software-only solutions, the Digital ICE technology does not soften, blur nor alter any underlying composition or details of the original image. It actually works from within the scanner, during the scanning process, thus users are given a clear and authentic base image which shows an improved look of the original one.
How does Digital ICE works?
This technology, as early mentioned, works from within the scanner which means that alterations on the original image are most likely not to happen.
The original “Digital ICE” technology used infrared cleaning, however over time it has already improved, Applied Science Fiction and Kodak has marketed other image enhancement technologies in addition to the infrared cleaning capabilities.
This ICE technology utilizes a scanner which has a pair of light sources, an infrared (IR) lamp and a normal RGB lamp. When in use, the technology does scanning twice, once with each lamp. They IR lamp will detect the dust location through its unique detection method, then afterwards the inpainting will be applied based on the data produced by the IR lamp. The general purpose of this method is to lessen the position of scratches and dust from the RGB image.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using this technology?
The advantage of the Digital ICE is that it helps in the production of digital images from conventional photographic negatives and slides that are free of defects. The PC and desktop publishing industries as well as most internet users benefit from this.
The disadvantage of this technology is that is only detect scratches and dust during transparent film scan, it cannot be used for in opaque document scanning processes. This is due to the fact that the long wave infrared only passes through the slide but not through the dust particles.