Only 10 years ago, connecting to the Internet meant switching on your computer to surf the net or send email messages. Today, the world is one giant network where anyone is connected to everyone and everything. Not only can you access the web anywhere from a variety of mobile devices, but you are connected to your home appliances, your alarm systems, your pets, your plants, your car and much more. Nothing seems to be out of bounds with the Internet of Things.
The new technological trends that have emerged in recent years have certainly increased our desire to monitor every aspect of our lives: health, sleep, food intake, sports activities, and much more.
These new developments are not just for recreational purposes. They are now also proving invaluable in assisted living. This is especially important in societies where seniors represent a growing percentage of the population. Sensor-based solutions installed in homes can help detect changes in the habits of senior people – for instance if the refrigerator hasn’t been opened once in 24 hours – and alert the family of the care giver that there may be a problem.
This global connectivity generates new behaviours and also huge amounts of data, which raises the issues of storage, ownership or privacy. Big Data experts are working hard at finding solutions that are acceptable for individuals, public and private enterprises, organizations and governments.
Many IEC TC/SCs (Technical Committees and Subcommittees) develop International Standards that address the safety, reliability and performance of these technologies.