MPEG-V step #2: A Call for Technology Proposal for Standards in Virtual Worlds

Here’s an update on MPEG-V – our efforts to create standards for virtual worlds and real worlds (as you may recall I’m involved in Metaverse1 which is one of the leading forces behind MPEG-V).

Here is our time table:

Step Status Due Date Description
1 Done 2008/10/17 Final version of Requirements / Call for Proposals
2 Now 2009/01/28 Proposals due
3 Future 2009/02/01 Evaluation of proposals (in an Ad Hoc Group meeting)
4 Future 2009/02/06 First draft of MPEG-V WD
5 Future 2009/04 Working Draft
6 Future 2009/10 Committee Draft
7 Future 2010/01 Final Committee Draft
8 Future 2010/07 Final Draft International Standard
9 Future 2010/10 International Standard

MPEG, a working group in ISO/IEC, has produced many important standards (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG-7, and MPEG-21). MPEG feels that it is important to standardize intermediate formats and protocols for “Information exchange with Virtual Worlds”, MPEG-V in the areas of “Data representations between virtual worlds” and “Data representations between virtual worlds and the physical world”.

The intended standard for ‘Information exchange with Virtual Worlds’ will adders these areas (see also the illustration below):

• Area1: Data representation between virtual worlds and the physical world
• Area2: Data representation between virtual worlds
• Area3: Real world data representation

The standard will be based on an overall architecture that can be instantiated for all the foreseeable combinations of virtual worlds and real world deployment

MPEG has produces “MPEG-V Requirements Version 3”. Based on these requirements MPEG would like to be informed about technologies that satisfy them.
All parties that believe they have relevant technologies for MPEG-V are invited to submit these technologies for consideration by MPEG.

Parties do not necessarily have to be MPEG members. The review of these requirements is planned in the context of the 87th MPEG meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Please contact Joern Ostermann ( for details on attending this meeting if you are not an MPEG delegate. The submissions shall be received by the 28th of January, 2009 23.59 hours GMT, by Joern Ostermann, chair of the MPEG Requirements sub-Group, ( who will upload all proposals both by MPEG and non MPEG members to the MPEG site after the submission deadline.

You should read all the details of the call for MPEG-V Call for Proposals.
And you can also access the current “MPEG-V Requirements Version 3.”

Brands in Second Life – a good example – Orange Island

In an earlier post, I spoke about Brand – Why the came and why they left. One brand that really care about heir brand is Orange.

Orange, a key brand of France Telecom Group, is running Orange-Island.
A key factor in their program is an holistic approach to the new media that embrace community and creation.

Their creation program is called — surprisingly — Create:
As part of an ongoing endeavour to share and collaborate with the Second Life communities, Orange launches the Create Programme, an initiative that aims at encouraging creative expression on Orange Island.The idea is quite simple: Orange offers to support artistic and/or innovative projects by granting land and tools to residents who show promising material in order to help them achieve their project. We have selected three spectacular projects for this first batch of the Create Programme.

Brands in Second Life — Why They Came why they Leave?
These brands came in 2007 the likes of Reuters, BMW, Sony BMG and Ericcson, BigPond, Reebok, Vodafone, IBM, ABC TV, Showtime, Pontiac, American Apparel, Virgin, Dell, NBC, Apple (unofficial), Sears, Circuit City and AOL. (see source)

So why did the came:
It is cool to see your branded store in 3D. You can allow your users to interact with your products in new ways. They can talk about your products in new ways. Users can bring their friends and talk about the products; users can test the products; they can even design a product and feel the service.
So why did they go away:
Well, most of these firms are no longer in Second Life (or no longer in a meaningful way). Reasons include: a lot of work to have a maximum of 40 avatars. A simple web site can deal with 400,000 users. Difficulties to turn visitors into sales. Difficulties to connect second life into web and real commerce systems.
Yet… I want to remind people that it was probably difficult and not very productive to build the first web site of Amazon. It takes time. Virtual Worlds as a medium need to mature. We should not expect to gain “internet” value with the current level of maturity.
For a good example I would look at This firm seems to take it slow, learn the topic, experiment.