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RFC 2862 - RTP Payload Format for Real-Time Pointers

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Network Working Group                                        M. Civanlar
Request for Comments: 2862                                       G. Cash
Category: Standards Track                                           AT&T
                                                               June 2000

               RTP Payload Format for Real-Time Pointers

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document describes an RTP [1] payload format for transporting
   the coordinates of a dynamic pointer that may be used during a
   presentation. Although a mouse can be used as the pointer, this
   payload format is not intended and may not have all functionalities
   needed to implement a general mouse event transmission mechanism.

1. Introduction

   In most presentations, significant information is conveyed through
   the use of viewgraphs and a pointer. This makes accurate transmission
   of them vital in remote conferencing applications. Using regular
   video of a presenter's display for this purpose is problematic
   because, while the viewgraphs require a high spatial resolution, the
   pointer movements need to be sampled and transmitted at a high
   temporal resolution so that the presenter's pointing actions can be
   displayed synchronously with the corresponding audio and video
   signals. In many instances, this synchronization carries vital
   information.  As an example, consider a speaker pointing at two
   alternatives on a viewgraph in sequence and saying "this one is
   better than this".  To satisfy both high spatial and high temporal
   resolution requirements, at least S-VHS quality video may need to be
   used. Codecs that can compress S-VHS video effectively in real-time
   are expensive for this purpose, and transmitting such video
   uncompressed requires very high bandwidths.

   A much simpler and economical system can be designed by capturing and
   transmitting the pointer coordinates separately [2]. The pointer
   coordinates with respect to a displayed viewgraph can easily be
   obtained in electronic presentation systems. For presentations
   prepared for optical systems, such as transparencies for overhead
   projectors, an arrangement where the viewgraph is captured in a frame
   buffer on a computer can be used to associate the pointer coordinates
   with the displayed viewgraph. For capturing transparencies, printed
   material, or even three dimensional objects, a document camera and a
   personal computer or workstation based video capture card can be
   used.  This arrangement can handle electronic viewgraphs by feeding
   the video output of the computer that displays them to the video
   capture card through an appropriate converter also. A side benefit of
   this is that it allows using a presenter's own computer to transmit
   electronic viewgraphs without connecting it to, for example, an
   intranet. The captured image is then displayed along with the
   capturing computer's mouse pointer on the presenter's display using a
   projector. The presenter moves the pointer on the display using a
   regular or maybe a wireless mouse whose location can easily be
   captured by appropriate software running on the capturing computer.

   This document describes an RTP payload format to transmit the pointer
   coordinates captured in one of the ways described above using RTP.
   Although, a mouse can be used as the pointer, this payload format is
   not intended and may not have all functionalities needed to implement
   a  general mouse event transmission mechanism.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [3].

2. Payload Format

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |V=2|P|X|  CC   |M|     PT      |       sequence number         |
   |                           timestamp                           |
   |           synchronization source (SSRC) identifier            |
   :            contributing source (CSRC) identifiers             :
   |L|M|R| |     x-coordinate      | | PIN |     y-coordinate      |
         MBZ                       MBZ

               Figure 1 - An RTP packet for Real-Time Pointer

   Fig. 1 shows an RTP packet carrying real-time pointer coordinates.
   This payload format does not have a payload specific header.

2.1. RTP Header Usage:

   Payload Type (PT): The assignment of an RTP payload type for this new
   packet format is outside the scope of this document, and will not be
   specified here. It is expected that the RTP profile for a particular
   class of applications will assign a payload type for this encoding,
   or if that is not done then a payload type in the dynamic range shall
   be chosen.

   Marker (M) bit: Set to one if the pointer icon is changed in this

   Extension (X) bit: Defined by the RTP profile used.

   Sequence Number: Set as described in RFC1889 [1].

   Timestamp: The sampling time for the pointer location measured by a
   90kHz clock.

   SSRC: Set as described in RFC1889 [1].

   CC and CSRC fields are used as described in RFC 1889 [1].

   RTCP SHOULD be used as defined in RFC 1889 [1].

2.2. Payload:

   The pointer's x and y coordinates are measured from the upper left
   corner of the associated display window. They are represented as a
   fraction of the corresponding edge length of the display window using
   12 bits, positive, fixed point numbers between 0 and (1 - 2^-12).

   L (left), R (right) and/or M (middle) bits are pointer special
   effects flags. Their use is application dependent and MUST be
   established out-of-band. Applications MAY ignore these bits.

   PIN: Pointer Icon Number (3 bits) selects a pointer icon.  The
   association between the PIN numbers and the icon pictures MUST be
   established out-of-band. PIN = 0 represents a default pointer icon.
   Applications which only support a single pointer icon SHOULD set the
   PIN field to zero. Applications MAY ignore non-zero PIN values on
   reception, and display a default icon.

3. MIME Media Type Registrations

   This document defines a new RTP payload name, "pointer," and
   associated MIME subtype, "video/pointer."

3.1. Registration of MIME media type video/pointer

      MIME media type name: video

      MIME subtype name: pointer

      Required parameters: None

      Optional parameters: None

      Encoding considerations: Pointer video can be transmitted with RTP
      as specified in this document.

      Security considerations: As described in this document.

      Interoperability considerations: None

      Published specification: this document.

      Applications which use this media type: Videoconferencing systems
      that transmit VUgraphs with a real-time pointer.

      Additional information: None

        Magic number(s): None

        File extension(s): None
        Macintosh File Type Code(s): None

      Person & email address to contact for further information:
        M. Reha Civanlar
        e-mail: civanlar@research.att.com

      Intended usage: COMMON Author/Change controller:
        M. Reha Civanlar
        e-mail: civanlar@research.att.com

4. Security Considerations

   RTP packets using the payload format defined in this specification
   are subject to the security considerations discussed in the RTP
   specification [1].

   This payload type does not exhibit any significant non-uniformity in
   the receiver side computational complexity for packet processing  to
   cause a potential denial-of-service threat.

5. References

   [1] Schulzrinne, H., Casner, S.,  Frederick, R. and V. Jacobson,
       "RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real Time Applications", RFC 1889,
       January 1996.

   [2] M. R. Civanlar, G. L. Cash, "Networked Viewgraphs - NetVG"
       Proceedings of The 9th Int. Workshop on Packet Video,

   [3] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
       Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

6. Authors' Addresses

   M. Reha Civanlar
   AT&T Labs - Research
   100 Schultz Drive, Room 3-205
   Red Bank, NJ 07701, USA

   EMail: civanlar@research.att.com

   Glenn L. Cash
   AT&T Labs - Research
   100 Schultz Drive, Room 3-213
   Red Bank, NJ 07701, USA

   EMail: glenn@research.att.com

7.  Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.


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