MPEG Enters Virtual Realm

The 84th MPEG meeting held recently in Archamps, France, saw the Moving Picture Experts Group tackling the realm of virtual worlds with calls for proposals for Information Exchange with Virtual Worlds (MPEG-V) and the Representation of Sensory Effects (ROSE).
MPEG is seeking to refine its definition for its new project – Information Exchange with Virtual Worlds, also known as MPEG-V. This project will standardise a global framework, with associated interface and intermediate format definitions, to enable the interoperability both between virtual world applications and between the real world and virtual world applications. 
Interoperability between virtual world applications includes the exchange of information defining user identities and profiles, characteristics of assets (such as avatars and objects), and dynamic attributes. Information regarding ownership, rights and obligations associated with virtual goods may also be exchanged. The transfer of (virtual) currencies is also addressed. 
Real world devices with potential interfaces in the new standard include sensors, actuators, and robots, while potential applications include social and welfare systems, banking, insurance, travel, real estate, and digital rights management, among many others. 
In a move to realistically represent experiences such as the shifting of ground, the presence of scent, and other effects to arouse emotions (for example – fear, suspense, or affection), MPEG has also issued a Call for Proposals for the Representation of Sensory Effects, or ROSE. This standardisation effort endeavours to augment the experiences of audio and video users, whose real-time sensory experiences have until recently been limited to those achieved by 3-D audio and video devices. By representing sensory effects for use by other devices such as fog generators for the creation of fog, or strobe lights for the flash of lightning, the ROSE standard aims to lay the foundation for users to experience more realistic stimuli from otherwise ordinary audiovisual content.