The co-founder of TMMI is an unlikely visionary - Phillip Taylor Kramer, the gifted bass guitarist from the 1960's classic rock band, Iron Butterfly, globally known for their iconic mega hit, IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDDA - a sound that still instantly captures the imagination.
Taylor Kramer exited the rock music limelight to become an aerospace engineer. From that departure, MTT Visions was founded by Phillip Taylor Kramer and Tom Simpson in 1990 as a privately-owned California Corporation. The Company developed, integrated, licensed and distributed video compression and decompression (codec) software for CD-ROM Publishers and Multimedia Developers.
MTT Visions began with the development of the first video compression capable of producing full motion video from a single speed CD-ROM. The first public demonstration was delivered at the Microsoft Multimedia show in San Jose California.
In 1991 MTT Visions merged with Randy Jackson Entertainment Corp. (Michael Jackson's brother Randy Jackson) and changed its name to Total Multimedia Inc. In the Fall of that year TMMI released "TMM Softvideo version 1.1" the world's first software only video on the market using RLE (Run Length Encoding).
In 1992 the expansive and curious mind of Kramer caught a glimpse of the future when he encountered two Georgia Tech mathematicians, Dr. Alan Sloan and Dr. Michael Barnesley -- the two professors who founded Iterated Systems Inc., were the first to use the emergence of Fractal Theory to create a patented computer algorithm using fractals to compress still pictures, dramatically reducing their file size to transfer the images electronically with substantially less band width. Taylor Kramer saw the technology's potential and became the first to use fractal based compression for video when the professors agreed to sell the first world-wide rights to him.
Total Multimedia, Inc. (TMMI), a publicly traded company, was designed to be the investment vehicle to attract the capital to bring the video technology to life and provided over $6mm in development funding to Iterated Systems Inc.
1993-1995 TMMI's fractal based SoftVideo was deployed commercially in "Falcon Gold F-16", "Art of the Kill", and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION "A Final Unity" CD-ROM video games produced by Spectrum HoloByte:
™, ® & © 1995 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Underlying computer code and manual © 1995 Spectrum
HoloByte, Inc. Star Trek main title music by A. Courage and J. Goldsmith. © Bruin Music Company and Ensign Music
Corp. International rights secured. Not for broadcast transmission. All rights reserved. Featuring SoftVideo © full motion
video codec from TMM, Inc. Incorporates the Sound Retrieval System (SRS).
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures. Spectrum HoloByte is an
Authorized User. Spectrum HoloByte is a registered trademark of Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. SoftVideo is a registered trademark
of TMM, Inc. SOUND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM and SRS are registered trademarks of SRS Labs, Inc. All other trademarks
are the property of their respective holders.
Taylor Kramer, was an accomplished computer engineer, inventor, and visionary whose credits included assisting the U.S. Defense Department with the famous MX Missile series. He proved himself a pioneer in the fields of facial recognition biometrics, and was instrumental in bringing fractal compression technology in video.
In a mystery that persists to this day, Taylor Kramer lost his life when he disappeared in 1995 in route to the Los Angeles International Airport with the latest iteration of his technology in hand, to pick up and meet with a business associate. His body was found four years later in May 1999 at the bottom of a ravine inside Decker Canyon outside of Malibu, California.
[Click here to read the LA Times article on Taylor Kramer]
His death has become the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories that have spanned 25 years. Just days before his death, Taylor Kramer told his wife he had reached a break through in advanced communications stating, "It was there all along, but nobody could see it". His research breakthrough was in 'faster than light communications' and a compelling reason people continue to follow his story to this day.
The excitement over the technological prospects of using the technology over multiple platforms generated multiples of millions in investment capital, which Taylor Kramer used in TMMI to create critical advancements. In the wake of his disappearance, TMMI floundered while struggling to continue. There were years of
navigating through management hurdles taking the company in and out of a bankruptcy and protracted litigation over certain license rights.
A loyal group of shareholders never lost sight of the vision and belief in the company. In 2011, new investors came to TMMI reviving the company.
During 2012 TMMI had established a new lab that made rapid progress in
analyzing and testing its legacy SoftVideo fractal video codec, originally
developed with Iterated Systems, Inc. in the early 1990's, and formulated a
business strategy that best matched the current capabilities of the day. TMMI
determined the best utilization of its source code was an optimized lean
version re-branded as
TRUDEF VDK3 Fractal Video for use in the Digital Cinema and Home Theater markets.
Fractal video compression is asymmetrical in nature of the technology. Encoding is resource intensive, however, playback is lightweight and fast. While decoding is extremely efficient, the available video players and OS APIs presented bottlenecks during high performance playback. TMMI's engineering team then developed the
TRUDEF Fractal Video player, capable of playing highly detailed 2x2 block encoded 4K RGB video on computers limited by the then current PCIe 2.0 bus architecture.
TMMI's TRUDEF Fractal technology was able to demonstrate 4K playback at 2,000mbps, over 8 times the data rate as specified the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) for both 2K and 4K. While TRUDEF's visually losslesss quality showed great promise, the technology's resource intensive encoding requirements required significant R&D and expenses to overcome.
Meanwhile computer hardware technology advanced along with other competing open source video codecs, which changed the trajectory for this interesting technology. The industry wide shift toward open standards meant TMMI would alter its strategy.
Further commercialization of it technology was slowed by litigation to protect the company's technology and its shareholders.
Now again in 2020, inspired by its founder Taylor Kramer's vision and story, new investment in combination with new management, marketing and service have energized the company with a commitment to propel TMMI upward to the next level in its long history.
Phillip Taylor Kramer, the visionary rocker turned engineer/inventor, devoted son, husband and father has generated a following among shareholders and fans that continues to capture the imagination. The new TMMI team stands with them and on his shoulders. Join us to explore the future as TMMI brings you, "A better View of the World".
TMMI's software technologies are targeted to the global consumer electronics market providing value added solutions to product offerings across multiple market sectors, and providing high performance 8K TRUDEF™ VDK3 Fractal video systems for Enterprise customers.