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PictSync Group aims to increase CE interoperability

Posted: 28 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Epson? HP? IDS? Olympus? PortalPlayer?

Epson, HP, IDS, Olympus, PortalPlayer and Samsung Electronics, working together as the PictSync Promoters Group, announced that they have jointly developed guidelines to increase interoperability between digital cameras, camera phones and portable media players. The guidelines, dubbed PictSync, will enable the easy transfer of digital photos between two portable devices that are able to capture or store images, without requiring a personal computer.

According to the press release, the release of version 1.0 and the logo certification program is expected to be announced by the end of Q1 2006. The six companies that comprise the group are collaborating on these guidelines to address the current lack of interoperability and compatibility between image capture devices and consumer electronic playback devices. A licensing program is under development to allow for broad industry adoption of the PictSync guidelines.

"Today, it can be difficult for the average consumer to transfer an image from a camera phone or digital camera to a personal media player without first transferring the image to a PC," said Felix Nemirovsky, PictSync facilitator. "Clearly defined interoperability guidelines using existing industry standards such as MPV, DCF, MSC, PTP and others will enable fast, easy and consistent sharing or archiving of digital photo in portable media players and other non-PC devices."

Using the existing industry standards, the PictSync Promoters Group plans to document and publish compatibility guidelines and provide a testing methodology and logo certification program, which will provide consumers with the ability to connect compliant capture devices and compliant playback devices successfully. PictSync will enable compliant devices to successfully recognize all photo content along with all metadata. PictSync enabled devices will also transfer and/or synchronize all photo content and metadata from compliant capture devices to compliant playback devices.

Initially, two classes of device have been defined: a PictSync device, capable of serving as a USB host, and PictSource, a USB device. In addition, five primary usage models for PictSync interoperability have been defined: PictSync device connected to a digital camera; PictSync device connected to a camera phone; PictSync device connected to another PictSync device like a PMP/USB storage device; memory card inserted in a PictSync device; and PictSync/PictSource device connected to a PC using MPV-enabled software. The base use case for each is to connect two devices together and synchronize their contents.

Existing industry standards utilized in the PictSync Interoperability Guidelines include design rule for camera file system; exchangeable image file format, JPEG; TIFF; media storage device; MusicPhotoVideo, a metadata exchange specification; media transfer protocol, a new protocol designed for portable media devices; picture transfer protocol; and WIA, a PTP implementation by Microsoft.

The PictSync member companies encourage OEMs, ODMs and component suppliers that are building products that directly or indirectly capture, store or manage digital photos to participate in this initiative. The first open PictSync Plugfest is tentatively planned for Q2 2006 in San Francisco.




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