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Meeting and Seminar Archive:

Date:  Sep 22, 2008

Title: Past and Future of Digital Watermarking

Speaker: Dr. Ton Kalker, Hewlett-Packard Labs

Location: National Semiconductor


The term 'Digital Watermarking' refers to methods and techniques for adding auxiliary data to multimedia signals. In the mid nineties digital watermarking was heralded as the solution for all copyright and copy protection issues: in one form or another the opening paragraph of many papers contained the reasoning 'copyright protection is important, therefore we need watermarking'. However, today, more than 10 years later, we find very few actually deployed applications of digital watermarking. In this talk we will try to explain why digital watermarking has not lived up to its expectations, as well making an educated guess about what the future of digital watermarking will be.


Ton (Antonius Adrianus Cornelis Maria) Kalker is research scientist in the Mobile and Media Systems Lab at HP Labs in Palo Alto, CA, where he is focusing on multimedia security and digital rights management. Kalker joined HP in June 2004 from Philips Research Laboratories Eindhoven, where he worked on security of multimedia content, with an emphasis on watermarking and fingerprinting for video and audio. Earlier, he worked at Phillips Research in the field of computer-aided design, specializing in semi-automatic tools for system verification. Since 1999, Kalker has also served as a part-time professor in the Signal Processing Systems group at the technical University Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in the area of signal processing methods for data protection. A native of The Netherlands, Kalker received both his MS and PhD degrees in mathematics in from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. While pursuing his PhD, he worked as a research assistant at the university and later, as a lecturer in the Computer Science Department at the Technical University of Delft. He is a Fellow of the IEEE (2001) for his contributions to practical applications of watermarking in particular, watermarking for DVD-Video copy protection. Kalker is co-founder of the recent IEEE Transactions on Information Security and Forensics (ToIFS) and chair of the associated Technical Committee.

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