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Picture Transfer Protocol, PTP, now an ISO Standard
Posted: 26-Sep-2005 [Source: I3A]

[The PTP protocol, which lies at the heart of the wireless camera, has been adopted as international standard ISO 15740.]

White Plains, NY -- The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), the leading global association for the imaging industry, today announced that the widely supported Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) for Digital Still Photography Devices, originally developed by I3A's IT10 Standards Committee, has been published as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 15740.. I3A serves as secretariat for ISO TC (technical committee) 42, which develops and approves international photography standards, with a focus on advanced digital imaging. I3A also serves as administrator of the USA Technical Advisory Group for the ISO/TC42 committee.

PTP enables the transfer of digital images from cameras to other devices without additional device drivers. Transport- and platform-independent, it has proven so valuable that it is now built into virtually all new digital cameras and photo printers, and it is natively supported by all major computer operating systems.

With PTP, digital cameras can exchange images with host computers, printers, other digital capture devices, kiosks, and image storage and display devices. Before the advent of PTP, solutions for image transfer were based on proprietary software created by individual vendors, and devices from different manufacturers often could not communicate. The interoperability resulting from the widespread adoption of PTP greatly reduces consumers' frustration at the difficulty of transferring photos from camera to computer, printer, or kiosk, and it will significantly contribute to the ongoing growth in sales of digital cameras and associated devices.

"It is gratifying to see the collaborative work of I3A sponsored standards committees being recognized and adopted universally and globally," said Lisa Walker, President of I3A. "PTP is a textbook case demonstrating the value of an industry organization like I3A, serving as the incubator for imaging standards in our own IT 10 standards committee, then refining these standards in our role as the U.S. administrator for ISO's TC 42. This new ISO PTP standard benefits the end customer, the I3A member companies, and the industry as a whole, and I applaud the work of the companies who have participated at the incubator stage as well as at the ISO level."

PTP was developed within the I3A IT10 Electronic Still Picture Imaging Committee by a group of companies that included Eastman Kodak Company, HP, FotoNation and Microsoft Corporation. The PTP standard was then published by I3A IN 2000 and subsequently submitted to ISO for international standardization.

The process to develop an international standard involves rigorous review and voting by ISO members, which are the national standards bodies of countries all over the world: the United States has one vote in this process, and I3A administers the balloting body for U.S. participation. The ISO designation is by no means automatically awarded: a standard can be modified during ISO development, augmented or even rejected.

"Ease of use is paramount, whether taking, sharing or printing pictures," said Tim Looney, Manager of Digital Systems Standards, Eastman Kodak Company. "Through our work on the PTP standard, used as part of all Kodak EasyShare digital cameras, software, and printers, we're helping millions of people around the world enjoy the countless benefits of digital photography."

"The availability of PTP has meant that HP engineers could develop innovative new devices and enhance existing ones, regardless of platform, and assure interoperability so that our customers have the best possible experience with our products," said George Lynch, Strategic Technology Manager, Imaging and Printing Group, Hewlett Packard. "Seeing PTP become a global standard validates our hard work within I3A and in our own company."

In addition to serving as the secretariat for the standards committees that developed PTP, I3A serves as the registration authority for PTP vendor extension IDs, such as those used by Microsoft's Media Transfer Protocol and Kodak's ImageLink Printing System protocol, as well as various camera company proprietary vendor extensions.

To ensure that the ISO PTP standard is swiftly implemented by device manufacturers and software developers, I3A is planning to create resources for the development community, which could include support documents, technical white papers, tools and conformance guidelines, and a directory of PTP-compliant products. I3A is also preparing to drive technical development of the next generation PTP standard, via its unique Initiative process.


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