John Apostolopoulos, 35
Develops ways to improve the security of streaming video on the Net
The only TR100 innovator who can also say he’s an Emmy Ward winner is John Apostolopoulos. An MIT graduate student, he helped develop the video compression system that was integrated into the U.S. Digital TV standard for high-definition television, for which he received a Technical Emmy in 1997. That year Apostolopoulos joined Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, aiming to improve the fidelity and security of streaming video- video sent through the Internet in continuous flows of data packets. The internet is vulnerable to errors, or even attacks, that can keep those packets from their destinations, so Apostolopoulos designed a technique for sending video information across multiple paths simultaneously rather than relying on a single path. Interruption of one path doesn’t kill the transmission because the missing video can be recovered using the stream from another path. Meanwhile, a security-conscious U.S. government agency, which Apostolopoulos prefers not to identify, is evaluating a method he codeveloped for encrypting media streams so they can be carried by diverse networks and then adapted for viewing on diverse devices. Now a senior research scientist, Apostolopoulos has begun to tackle streaming-media schemes for wireless networks.