Inaugural message from the President
“On my appointment as President” Susumu ITOH
Faculty of Science and Technology
Tokyo University of Science
At the ad hoc meeting of the executive board held in May this year, I was selected as the president (representative of the board) of the Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers (ITE). The method of choosing the president has changed slightly as ITE changed its status to a General Incorporated Association in April 2012. But as I think of ITE’s eminent lineup of past presidents, I am in awe once again.
I joined ITE in 1980, when it was still known as the Institute of Television Engineers. I helped out with behind-the-scene activities when its national symposiums were held at the Tokyo University of Science, where I work. In 1987, I formally began participating in the activities of the institute when I became a member of the papers committee. Afterwards, I served as a member or officer of various committees, including the annual symposium committee, the research committee, the specialty research committee, and the journal editing committee. In 1996, I was appointed as a research director of ITE. That same year, ITE changed its name to the Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers. All this time and since then, I have been indebted to countless ITE members, including members and officers of the technical committee, the recommendations committee, and the advisory committee, as well as the ITE Journal editor. Toshio Utsunomiya, my former teacher and a past president of ITE, created an atmosphere at the institute where I felt right at home. For me, ITE is the closest thing to being on home ground.
ITE has continued to lose members, and is experiencing a declining income and expenditure structure. Drastic responses are required. Under the guidance of former president Tadashi Onodera and with the combined strength of the board executives, ITE has implemented many measures aimed at enriching member services, such as creating appealing events at the annual symposium and the winter conference, creating an online English journal, strengthening the benefits of Retained Membership, and applying Web-IT technologies to the organization. Because ITE’s activities are basically carried out by volunteers, there are many ideas that have not yet been implemented. Some of you may have an image of ITE that makes you think, “My goodness.” But I ask for understanding and cooperation from all of you as we pursue “Let’s do everything we can do” in order to invigorate ITE.
Image information and media fall under the purview of ITE. Even as the times, symbolized by keywords such as “multimedia,” “broadband,” and “ubiquitance,’ change, they have remained core subjects in the field of ICT. However, in recent years, Japan’s efforts in these related areas have been modest. This is a factor that has affected the current state of ITE. We are working with all our might to bring prosperity once again to image information systems, which constitute a forte of Japan. Above all, I believe that ultra-high definition systems are a top priority. With the support of the government, we are seeking to take the global lead in the commercialization of 4K and 8K systems by working together with major broadcasters, communication providers, and manufacturers.
Furthermore, most recently smart TVs, which provide services linking broadcasting and communication, have become the focus of attention. New developments are being attempted for these systems, such as making use of rapidly proliferating smartphones as remote control and tablets as second screens. These efforts are sure to give rise to new styles of experiencing images and video. From the beginning, the area of contents has been considered by ITE as a critical theme, and it is a pillar we have been working to support. To make this effort more explicit, we have revised recommended prescriptions and established the “Contents Technology Award.” Program production technologies related to smart TVs can be leading candidates for this prize. Also, the development of 4K/8K ultra-high resolution displays will dramatically improve the quality of next-generation 3D images. Image information and media is a captivating field that will continue to evolve. I want to devote ITE’s strength to further developing this area and further expanding our organization. I ask for the advice and support of all members. Thank you very much.