Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MPEG news: a report from the 84th meeting in Archamps, France

The 84th MPEG meeting was held in Archamps, France (next to Geneva) and a few topics discussed at this meeting I'd like to briefly review here.

MPEG Representation of Sensory Effects

I've reported on that recently and this topic is maturing to a Call for Proposals (CfP) and the proposed technologies will be evaluated during the July meeting in Hannover, Germany. In this CfP MPEG is requesting technologies for the following items to be standardized:
  • Sensory Effect Metadata: description schemes and descriptors representing Sensory Effects.
  • Sensory Device Capabilities and Commands: description schemes and descriptors representing characteristics of Sensory Devices and means to control them.
  • User Sensory Preferences: description schemes and descriptors representing user preferences with respect to rendering of sensory effects.
Microsoft has adopted MPEG-21 Digital Item Declaration and Identification

Microsoft has adopted MPEG-21 technology within their Interactive Media Manager that is a collaborative media management solution that extends Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 for media and entertainment companies. Interestingly, their have adopted the Digital Item Model - an abstract model expressed in EBNF - and defined their own implementation of this model using RDF/OWL. Note that MPEG's implementation of the model is called Digital Item Declaration Language (DIDL) which is based on XML Schema.

Note: also UPnP has adopted MPEG-21 DIDL but in some kind of dialect called DIDL-lite.

Multimedia Extensible Middleware (MXM)

The Multimedia Extensible Middleware (MXM) aims to define APIs for various purposes. The requirements and also a Call for Proposals (requirements) have been issued at this meeting. It's very interesting to see that it should also accommodate for peer-to-peer technologies, i.e., storage/consumption of content in a distributed environment (P2P infrastructure based, e.g., distributed hash tables).

Other issues discussed at the meeting
  • Presentation of Structured Information: For this item a Call for Proposals (requirements) has been issued. One use cases and overall model is to include a presentation description into Digital Items that upon receipt of a Digital Item automatically extracts this information asset which is used to present the Digital Item.
  • MPEG User Interface Framework: personalize, adaptable and exchangeable rich user interfaces based on the use of a presentation format (BIFS, LaSER, ...), a language for describing the personalization context (UED, CC/PP, DCO, ...), and home network protocols (DLNA, UPnP, ...).
  • MPEG-V: This new project item defines interfaces between virtual worlds and between virtual worlds and the real world. An extended call for requirements has been issued.
  • Multimedia Value Chain Ontology (MVCO): aims to define an ontology for the whole multimedia value chain and a Call for Proposals (requirements) has been issued. However, the main focus is on rights-related issues at this moment.

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