Online service Latakoo partners with university to improve upload speeds

San Antonio company Latakoo has partnered with UTSA to improve the data compression ability of its online service. UTSA professor Sos Agaian holds a patent on the new compression algorithm the company wants to use to improve its service.

Latakoo currently provides their services to news organizations all over the world, including NBC Universal and other companies.

The service facilitates the transfer of large files, such as high-definition video, across the Internet via a technology known as data compression.

“We decided to compress the video and create a service where it was just drag, drop and click,” said Latakoo CEO Paul Adrian in an interview.

The company’s service encodes the file so that it becomes smaller, uploads it to a cloud server on the Internet and downloads the file to the desired destination, where it is unpacked to its original size.

Upload speeds are much slower than download speeds, so a file that may download in an hour could take the better part of a day to upload.

“The end goal is for the user not to have to worry about it at all,” Adrian said.

Uncompressed video formats such as Apple’s ProRes files used by Final Cut programs are enormous. A one-minute video requires roughly a gigabyte of storage. In a demo, the Latakoo service was able to compress such a video to one percent of its original size and immediately upload it. The entire process took only a minute and a half.

Adrian believes that the company’s partnership with UTSA will allow them to reduce that time even further.

“They have a sponsor research agreement with us,” said UTSA Chief Commercialization Officer Cory Hallam. Thus, not only will the university be making money from royalties through the use of Agaian’s compression algorithm, but Latakoo will also be funding ongoing research at the university to continue to improve software technologies, Hallam explained.

More funded research means that UTSA would be able to hire more graduate students to work in its labs, explained Hallam. He also noted that the growth of Latakoo through this partnership could open up more jobs in San Antonio-jobs that could be filled by UTSA graduates.

“We’re seeing research turn into real products,” said Hallam. “Hopefully we can create other deals like this.”