(as her name is spelled in Swedish
) or Lenna
(as her name is spelled in Playboy
) has been called "The First Lady of the Internet
." Her picture has become the standard for image processing and communication
around the world.
Lena Sjööblom was born on March 31, 1951 in Sweden. In November 1972, she became Playboy's Playmate of the month. (BUST: 34", WAIST: 26", HIPS: 36", HEIGHT: 5' 6", WEIGHT: 110 lbs.)
A few months later, a technician from the University of Southern California working on compression technologies scanned the image of Lena's centerfold. Since then, Lena's image has been used as the industry standard for testing ways in which pictures can be manipulated and transmitted electronically. Over the past 25 years, no image has been more important in imaging and electronic communications. P.S. I must mention that the picture in question is not the full body centerfold, but only a square cut-out, which includes her face, a frizzly hat that she is wearing, and some background.
Although it probably started out in humour (the technician must have thought it hilarious that's he's using a picture from Playboy), the picture became the standard for several reasons:
- It has areas of high detail such as the hat's frizzles, as well as areas of low detail, such as the background. Both of these types of areas deserve attention in image processing.
- It has a realtively equalized histogram. This means (for non-image-processing-majors) that the light and dark areas are evenly distributed, making for a pleasant image.
The more balanced the picture's histogram, generally, the more pleasant the picture is to the eye. Naturally, it is important to work with a 'good' picture.
- Image processing needs a standard picture. Manipulations of one picture may not work so well on another, so it is necessary to have one picture to compare different algorithms on. Lena was the first to be used on a large scale, so it became the standard, and stayed the standard.
In 1988 she was interviewed by a Swedish computer-related
publication, and that was the first time she heard that her centerfold
picture had been used as a standard for image processing
Lena was invited to attend the 50th Anniversary IS&T conference, held in Boston in May, 1997, and she attended it, upon invitation from the Boston chapter president of IS&T.
Lena is married, and is now called Lena Soderberg. She lives in Sweden with her husband and 3 children.
For more information, as well as pictures of Lena, old and new (yes, there's even a link to the original cenerfold), see www.lenna.org.