Technology Focussort by date

October 2016

Sensor networks, wearable printed electronics and AAL

Wearable printed electronics will play a central role in Active Assisted Living

Sensors provide information about objects, or people and their environment. Networks of sensors in the shape of wearable electronics and integrated into the living environment will...

October 2016

Smart Cities for the golden years

Smart City technologies have the potential to enable the disabled and elderly to remain independent for longer, and live healthy, mobile lives

The proportion of people aged over 60 will almost double from 12 to 22% between 2015 and 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In line with this, the WHO World Report...

October 2016

Cutting-edge technology reshapes the Paralympics

Innovative virtual reality techniques and 3D printing are making major contributions to the production of high-tech sports equipment for athletes with disabilities

Paralympians successfully overcome physical, visual and intellectual impairments, but their equipment can impact their performance.

October 2016

Rapid growth in home use of medical devices requires new standards

IEC work underpins fast growing support for home use of health and wellness devices

Why are home use medical and wellness devices drawing so much attention and growing at an explosive rate? It could be argued that this results from the nexus of the Internet of Things...

August 2016

Protecting against the new normal

The IEC plays a key role in protecting against cyberattacks aimed at critical assets

In an increasingly connected world, instances of cyberattacks targeting objects, systems, institutions and infrastructure are growing exponentially. The sophistication, severity and...

August 2016

Printing electronics anywhere

Printed electronics, a fairly new kid on the block, is set to revolutionize industry

Although a relatively new technology, printed electronics has already proven a disruptive, yet creative process that allows the production of new low-cost electronic devices. It has...

August 2016

Electricity drives global move towards greener transport

As populations continue to grow, authorities must find ways to make transport greener and more efficient so that people leave their cars at home

City traffic is increasingly congested and air quality often poor. However, transport systems which rely on full electric power, such as the metro, trams and railway lines, can...

August 2016

Innovative technology cleans up transport on land and at sea

Driverless vehicles – soon a reality or just a dream?

Authorities worldwide face the challenge of ensuring improved road safety and providing efficient transport systems to address congested roads and pollution in growing cities. They are...

August 2016

New ways of seeing, working and doing business

Virtual and augmented reality applications can improve surgery techniques, increase manufacturing efficiency and take the way we view sports to a new level

Initially developed for military and subsequently gaming scenarios, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications have found their way into many industries, which are...

August 2016

Technology is revolutionizing the way we deliver healthcare

Medical wearables offer a more tailored healthcare and improve the lives of people of all ages

We are more mobile today than ever before and expect to be able to carry out many daily activities outside the home or office. Having embraced the era of information overload, we want...

August 2016

Who says water and electricity don’t mix?

Access to water resources for all uses rests on electricity

Poor water quality and water scarcity continue to pose a major threat to human health and are responsible for millions of deaths every year. Extracting water and treating used and...

August 2016

From eight words a minute to 13 terabits per second in 150 years

IEC first President Lord Kelvin was central to the success of the first fully working transatlantic telegraph cable

Given today’s low-cost or free crystal-clear voice calls and the real-time transfer between continents of vast volumes of data, including multimedia content, it’s easy to...

June 2016

Electrical and electronic systems behind every sports event

An enthralling experience for audiences and athletes alike thanks to IEC International Standards

More than ever before the two major sports event of 2016, the European Football Championship, Euro 2016, and the 2016 Olympics Games, are supported by high-tech electrical and...

June 2016

Weaving technology into smart textiles

From sportswear, space suits, military attire to life jackets, cutting-edge technology combined with textiles offers wearers more than just clothing

Imagine swiping your car seat to change the radio station or heating temperature? How about a uniform which can detect chemical contamination, a tent which generates electricity or a...

June 2016

Enter the new sports world

Experience the action from within through virtual reality and enhanced 360 VR with augmented graphics

Wish you could get tickets to the Olympics, World Cup or Super Bowl and experience the live atmosphere just once? A new trend is sweeping the sports world that is already allowing fans...

June 2016

Faster, higher, stronger

Olympic sports and the consumer market

Many innovations deployed on the global stage at the 2016 Olympics will find their way into the next generation of smart sports and fitness devices aimed at the consumer market,...

May 2016

Virtual reality is central to aviation and maritime training

What is often seen as a novelty in many domains has in fact been used for decades

Virtual reality is increasingly making the headlines, thanks mainly to the gaming community, but it started finding its way in a wide range of domains a long time ago. Virtual reality...

May 2016

Shipping sets watch for [not so] distant cyberthreats

Maritime industry bodies consider pre-emptive measures to thwart cyberthreats

Piracy has posed a major security threat to mariners everywhere, from Asia to the Mediterranean, since time immemorial. In the future, threats from armed gangs boarding ships and...

May 2016

Experiencing life like never before

Smart technology offers a virtually real experience for growing numbers of leisure activities without even having to leave home

From sports events to cultural and historic venues, the leisure industry is embracing virtual and augmented reality in creative ways, to make game viewing even more exciting and offer...

May 2016

Cooling data centre energy demand

Cutting energy needs for operating and cooling data centres emerges as a priority for the future

Continuing global growth in the on-line sector and so-called cloud services means a comparable and significant increase in the power use associated with those services. Major...

April 2016

Fun with chemistry

Batteries enter new phase

Battery technology has always evolved to meet consumer demand and today a host of new markets are opening up for energy storage applications. Electric vehicles and increasing renewable...

April 2016

Going the last mile with robots

Significant changes ahead in retail markets and delivery services

From robots delivering small packages in cities, to driverless trucks transporting bulk loads over long distances, advances in robotic delivery in the next decade will lead to...

April 2016

The greening of urban transport

The electrification of urban transport is driven by environmental concerns

Increasing traffic congestion and escalating air pollution are leading to schemes for cutting the number of individual passenger cars in cities and encouraging the wider use of public...

April 2016

WPT: a key route for EV uptake

Wireless power transfer will bring additional flexibility to EV charging

If electric vehicles are to reach their full potential, consumer concerns over range and reliability in operation and charging must be addressed decisively. Wireless power transfer...

April 2016

Are energy-independent vehicles the future of transport?

Looking beyond electric vehicles that need self-contained power sources

The wider introduction of electric vehicles is seen as a major move in cutting emissions of harmful substances and dependence on fossil fuels. Going a step further, some transport...

April 2016

Cleaner, greener shipping

Electric propulsion makes a bigger splash on the water

Electric propulsion has been used on waterways since the 1880s, where it is primarily installed in small boats transporting a limited number of passengers on rivers or lakes....

March 2016

New openings for surgical robots

Surgical robots, first introduced some 30 years ago are proving increasingly useful for many applications

Robotic‑assisted surgery involves a surgeon using a computer‑assisted electromechanical device to carry out complex and technically demanding medical procedures on a patient. The...

March 2016

Sensors everywhere

Sensors are rapidly being integrated in healthcare and hazardous environment applications

The decreasing cost of electronic devices and growing access to mobile technology and wireless networks are driving the expansion of the digital economy. Integrating biosensors into...

March 2016

How tiny technology is reshaping healthcare

Nanotechnology in medical wearables and implants is revolutionizing the way medical conditions are monitored, diagnosed and treated

Imagine contact lenses which proactively monitor the blood glucose levels of your tears and transfer that information to a doctor’s mobile device, or an intelligent management system...

March 2016

Reverse mode fuel cells for energy storage

Using fuel cell modules in reverse mode will improve energy storage for renewables

A sense of collective responsibility is required to cope with the growing dependence on energy, given the fundamentally unpredictable nature of primary energy supply, the intermittent...

March 2016

Keeping medical electrical equipment safe from interference

Safe operation of medical equipment is essential to protect patients and users

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the ability of electronic and electrical systems or components to work reliably and safely when they are close together is crucial in many domains,...

January 2016

Tech trends 2016

Insights and predictions by Shawn DuBravac, chief economist. CEA

The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA, was again a show of records, reflecting the growing importance of consumer electronics and connected devices.

January 2016

Printed electronics

The challenge of Systems Integration

The IEC covers technologies at many phases of industrialization. Printed Electronics is still in the very early stages of introduction into industry – a good time to start the...

January 2016

The wearable future

Keeping track of ourselves

In our mobile world, we carry our lives in our portable devices and expect to be able to access information anytime, anywhere. On a train, in a shop, out walking, we surf the net,...

January 2016

Cabled or wireless – high-quality audio is gaining ground

After a long decline high-performance audio has made a comeback

Not such a long time ago high-fidelity, or hi-fi, stereo sound systems, which first started appearing in homes in large numbers in the early 1970s, were considered the ultimate in home...

January 2016

Still young at 90

Radio at the heart of relief efforts

The theme of this year’s World Radio Day, which marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio on 13 February 1946, was “Radio in times of emergency and disaster”. Radio...

January 2016

Changing TV gear and consumption habits

Uncertainty about the future is the new certainty in the TV industry

In recent years the television industry has experienced countless changes to its content production and distribution modes, the equipment needed to support them and viewers’...

January 2016

Broadcasting from a new perspective

Innovative technology behind the scenes

The pan shot zooms in as it sweeps around the stage. Executed with precision, flawless deliveries of television news and entertainment shows have become the norm. Switch to sport and...

2015
December 2015

EVs for kids reflect motoring industry trends

Like many other toys, children's ride-on replica vehicles have adopted electrical systems and propulsion for the greater enjoyment of their users

Battery powered (electric) ride-on toys, whether intended for use indoors or outdoors, offer children the experience of driving and controlling motor vehicles which are tailored to...

December 2015

More creative and safer festive lighting

New lighting solutions, mainly based on LEDs, are changing many aspects of holiday and festive lighting

The end of year season presents lighting designers and individuals with the opportunity to give free rein to their creative imagination and bring a festive atmosphere to towns,...

December 2015

Active Assisted Living: from strategy to reality

IEC SyC AAL up and running

Assuring quality of life for ageing populations is a global issue that in future may impact countries’ health and social systems to the point of jeopardizing their financial...

December 2015

Smart toys for clever kids

Sensors animate toy robots in innovative ways for playing and learning

Over the centuries, toys have evolved from dolls of stone, terracotta, wax or wood depicting humans, to today’s animated toy robots which can walk, jump, roll, spin, flip, kick, pick...

November 2015

Improving civil aviation security: an endless task

As International Standards close more security loopholes, new ones emerge

The recent crash of a Russian airliner has highlighted the difficulty of protecting civil aviation against deadly acts of violence. Russian officials have established that an explosive...

November 2015

Keeping smart homes safe and secure

Security is one of the key drivers for connected homes, after smart energy

Connected safety and security systems and devices with remote monitoring capabilities are expanding their share of the global smart home market. A survey in the UK in July 2015...

November 2015

Swimming safely in a clean environment

Public swimming pools need electricity as much as water

Public swimming pools rely on a wide range of equipment, most of it controlled electrically or electronically in one way or another. Users take a safe and clean swimming environment for...

November 2015

Asset integrity and functional safety

Lessons from the Gudrun offshore platform leak

The February 2015 condensate leak on the Gudrun offshore platform, in the North Sea, highlighted many lessons learned from other incidents and the importance of functional safety. It...

October 2015

Convenience and safety behind global power tool boom

Amateurs and professionals are benefitting from improved electric tools

In an age of innovation and constant technological evolution, a wide variety of affordable, easy-to-use power tools allow many people to maintain their homes and gardens themselves...

October 2015

Better safe than sorry

With cyberattacks on the increase, IEC has launched a number of initiatives to combat these

Have you ever had your e-mail hacked or been informed that the personal information you have given to your credit card company has been breached? Such breaches have become commonplace...

October 2015

Can drones replace satellites?

Small drones are set to have a disrupting effect on a wide range of commercial activities

The drone as we know it today began life in the 1800s and was originally used for target practice to train military personnel. Now, they are increasingly available for less than USD 1...

October 2015

No wires no tangles

The growing trend of wireless charging

The idea of charging up our gadgets without cables is not so new. Back in the early 90s a wireless charging toothbrush was introduced at a dentistry convention in Florida, US. But the...

October 2015

Embracing cage-free colleagues

A new breed of robot is extending the benefits of automated industry to smaller manufacturers

Smaller businesses are becoming more streamlined and competitive thanks to the development of cobots or collaborative robots, capable of working safely with humans along assembly lines.

October 2015

Innovative ways to get about town

Increasingly, cities are looking at new more efficient means of transportation

Despite decades of attempts to reduce urban traffic, by encouraging car-pooling or deterring drivers with congestion charges, city driving is more time-consuming than ever, and often...

October 2015

Securing our digital lives

Organizing chaos and safeguarding data

As information technology becomes ever more pervasive in our daily lives, one large group of experts is at the forefront in helping to secure our digital environment. Their work covers...

September 2015

IoT to make buildings and cities "smarter"

The Internet of Things is emerging as a main driver in the development of smart buildings

As smart commercial buildings become incorporated into the wider energy control networks of smart cities and linked to other aspects such as transport, water and air quality, the...

September 2015

Smart Cities require a holistic approach to infrastructure

The need to make cities sustainable will drive the adoption of a range of smart solutions

With mass urbanization emerging as an unstoppable trend across the world, cities need to become sustainable on many levels. The solution is to design smart solutions at all levels to...

September 2015

Common Data Dictionary helps drive business forwards

The IEC CDD facilitates the exchange of technical data between companies

As business processes in electrical/electronic industries are increasingly being conducted electronically for both internal processes and interaction with external partners, the use of...

September 2015

Threats lurking on medical electronic data

Cyberattacks on healthcare establishments are a growing threat

Over the years the healthcare sector has become increasingly reliant on an IT infrastructure for the proper and safe operation of its equipment and to manage patients' medical records....

September 2015

Enhancing how you see the world

How new sectors are embracing innovative ways to use augmented reality

Have you experienced augmented reality (AR)? If you have ever had keyhole surgery, reached your destination by using a satellite navigation system or used an AR catalogue to see how...

September 2015

Medical biometrics improve patients' care

How the healthcare sector benefits from advances in medical biometrics

Most people are familiar with the use of biometric identification systems – from fingerprints to voice recognition to iris scans – as elements of sophisticated security systems. The...

June 2015

Rethinking energy storage

Energy providers face increasing demand for power to sustain the daily activities of growing global populations

Consumers need access to a continuous, flexible and adequate electricity supply wherever they are. In addition to ensuring the provision of quality, stable electricity, energy suppliers...

June 2015

Over 130 years old, but still in its prime

Hydropower has been producing electricity for over 130 years and still has a bright future

Hydroelectricity still represents the largest source of renewable energy (RE) in the world. It is set to remain one of the largest, if not the largest, in many regions for the...

June 2015

DC takes the driving seat

Low voltage direct current has benefits for both developed and developing countries

At the 2014 IEC General Meeting in Tokyo, the IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) agreed to set up a Systems Evaluation Group, SEG 4: Low voltage direct current (LVDC)...

May 2015

No rest in efforts to thwart cyberattacks

IEC works to hinder IT security risks to industry and institutions

Following a surge in instances of attacks targeting government, organizations and private computer systems, cybersecurity threats are emerging as a major issue for economies and...

May 2015

Embracing cage-free colleagues

A new breed of robot is extending the benefits of automated industry to smaller manufacturers

Advances in the development of cobots or collaborative robots, capable of working safely with humans along assembly lines, is paving the way for smaller businesses to become more...

May 2015

From farm to table

Paying less for good bread

Industrial automation mainly evokes images of assembly lines where machines and robots put together, pack and dispatch semi-finished products or manufactured goods. Yet, one sector that...

May 2015

No Cloud-free zone!

The Cloud is here to stay and is expected to bring significant benefits for industry and individuals alike

Mentions of "The Cloud" can be found every day as its significance increases for businesses, whether big or small, and for individuals. However confusion still reigns in most...

May 2015

No light, no safety, no automation

In industry light plays a central role in many domains, not just for lighting premises

Lighting fulfils a growing range of tasks in the industrial environment, improving safety and enabling automation in many areas

April 2015

Safe and sound on the roads

Connected vehicles should improve road safety, but security issues need addressing

Roads are becoming safer in industrialized countries, in spite of increased traffic volumes, thanks to improvements in vehicle electronics. The introduction of connectivity is likely to...

April 2015

When disaster strikes

Reducing the impact of power outages

Disasters are on the rise globally. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes or floods are often further exacerbated by power outages. They increase the misery of populations...

April 2015

Who's driving?

Putting driverless transport to the test

Saving commuter time, money, the environment and eliminating human error are key reasons behind a number of projects trialing driverless car-like transport for congested cities.

April 2015

Can drones replace satellites?

Small drones are set to have a disrupting effect on a wide range of commercial activities

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have rapidly entered the civilian market after having been widely developed for military operations. They already have a disrupting effect on a wide...

April 2015

Tired of the tedious daily commute?

A new way to get around town

Hate the rush-hour, bumper-to-bumper routine, which ends in a lengthy search for that elusive, expensive parking space? Despite decades of car-pooling and deterring drivers with...

April 2015

Is your bus ride charged?

Cleaning up public transport networks

Power tools, mobile phones and tablets, wearables, electric toothbrushes, industrial applications powering wind turbines and equipment used in agriculture and forestry, marine, process...

April 2015

Lazy? Hungry? Too heavy or far to carry?

Conveyor belts for all purposes

From sushi, to luggage, to ore, more than ever, large, small, light, heavy, regular or irregular shaped objects are moved by conveyor belts. They may be simple in appearance, but...

April 2015

E-powering aviation from the ground up

An ever wider range of EVs and other equipment supports air transport activities

In civilian and military aerodromes, electric vehicles (EVs) are found both indoors and outdoors, like in a growing number of industrial environments. Together with a range of ancillary...

March 2015

The devil is in the nucleus

Ensuring the safety of nuclear installations and preventing misuse of radioactive material is vital

Monitoring radiation levels is paramount to ensuring protection against nuclear risks. IEC Technical Committee (TC) 45 is the only worldwide body developing international...

March 2015

Hobbyists help shape power tool industry

Leisure activities build market growth

Buffing, chiselling, drilling, levelling, planing, polishing, routing, sanding and screwdriving: power tools are used across industries such as automotive, infrastructure, construction,...

March 2015

Avoiding interference

Work to curtail radio frequency disturbance from electric tools is improving constantly

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the ability of electric and electronic devices and appliances to operate without interfering when close to each other, is important in a world of...

March 2015

Motors moving to IE codes

Major energy efficiency gains for electric motors

Electric motor systems are estimated to account for 46% of global electricity use(1). Converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, they rotate pumps, drive compressors, move...

March 2015

Dependable systems for all sectors

Ensuring system performance through dependability

Dependability is a crucial consideration in the development and application of technological systems. In today’s global business environment, dependability is a key decision-making...

February 2015

Tech trends 2015

Insights from author of Digital Destiny Shawn DuBravac

The 2015 CES was again a show of records, reflecting the growing importance of consumer electronics and connected devices.

January 2015

No wires, no tangles

Recent developments in wireless charging technology

Wireless charging is expected to prove highly convenient for consumers, yet the market is being slow to develop. One of the reasons could be that a standards war – albeit a small one...

January 2015

Keeping the radio on for nearly 90 years

From radio transmitters and receivers to better sound, the IEC sets standards

As World Radio Day, which marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio in 1946, is celebrated every 13 February, it is worth recalling nearly 90 years of continuous...

January 2015

The future of 3D printing

Digital meets the visible world

e-tech attended a presentation by Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk during CES. Carl Bass has been a pioneer of 3D printing. Below is a summary of his talk.

January 2015

What’s up?

The market of wearable smart devices

Based on a presentation given during the Tokyo General Meeting, with permission from Prof. Sung Kyu Park and the IEC National Committee of Korea.Computing and how we connect to the...

January 2015

The great potential of wearables

Wearing it well

Do you monitor yourself closely? Heart rate, carb intake, sleeping patterns? Do you track your child’s whereabouts? What about finding the dog, your keys or wallet? Wearable...

January 2015

Seeing through virtual reality

Developing virtual reality technology and its uses

VR (virtual reality) is mind-blowing in the gaming environment, plunging users headlong into breathtaking new worlds. In other fields, it allows doctors to perform surgery remotely and...

January 2015

New generation USB interfaces on their way

IEC and USB-IF expand cooperation to support next-generation high-speed data delivery and device charging applications

The IEC and USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) recently announced that they have expanded their International Standards cooperation to include the latest USB-IF specifications for...

January 2015

Batteries charge forward

Mobile and automotive applications depend on battery performance

The performance of batteries is becoming ever more important for mobile devices as these get more capable and need extra power. The automotive sector too is trying to overcome range and...

2014
December 2014

Playing to packed houses

IEC International Standards are always present in the limelight or backstage

Millions of people watch films and plays or attend performances in cinemas, theatres or concert halls around the world every year. In addition to offering entertainment, enjoyment and...

December 2014

Lights, sensors, game on

A multitude of electrical and electronic systems helps fans enjoy sporting events

Experiencing sporting events live in outdoor or indoor installations is a unique experience. In addition to suitable lighting that has made it possible to hold sporting events both...

November 2014

The promising impact of renewables

Constant need for electricity drives rapid growth of renewables

The wide-ranging environmental, economic and employment benefits of the rapidly expanding RE (renewable energy) sector are multiple and go beyond solely electricity generation....

November 2014

Storage: the heartbeat of renewables

The importance of electrical energy storage

As many countries try to increase the share of REs (renewable energies) in their electricity generation portfolio, a major issue facing utilities is EES (electrical energy storage). IEC...

November 2014

Towards Smarter Cities and Smarter Grids

IEC work advances urban environments and the best use of energy

By 2050, it is projected that the world population will reach 9.6 billion1. Moreover if current trends continue, 67% of these people are predicted to be living in cities. Hand-in-hand...

November 2014

The sparks that make land transport flow

All modes of land transport depend on electrical and electronic systems

Public and personal road transport, as well as railways, rely to an ever greater extent on electrical and electronic systems for better safety and energy efficiency. IEC International...

November 2014

Over a century of electric medical devices

The continual evolution of healthcare technology

The effects of electricity on the body were recorded as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times, when electric eels were used to treat joint pain, migraines and epilepsy. In the late...

November 2014

Ultrasonics in medical applications

All healthcare technology relies on electrotechnology

Over the past century, the great progress made in healthcare for existing and new technology relies on electrotechnology. Following the discovery of X-ray imaging in the late 19th...

November 2014

Trend-setting devices

Staying connected

We live in a “real time” world where soft- and hardware Internet technology enables us to access more products and services any time, any place. IEC work, including printed...

November 2014

Delivering portable healthcare

Revolutionary wearables

The scope of electronic wearables has broadened from the hearing aid, or heartbeat monitors to items widely used in social, health, wellness and medical areas, such as smart glasses,...

October 2014

Looking behind the standards

Accelerating the pace of standards development through pre-normative research

As the pace of technological development accelerates, there is increasing pressure to reduce the time required to produce international standards, as well as to start the...

October 2014

Dependable systems for all sectors

Ensuring system performance through dependability

Dependability is a crucial consideration in the development and application of technological systems. In today’s global business environment, dependability is a key decision-making...

August 2014

Aerospace 3D printing takes off

The aerospace industry moves from fast prototyping to additive manufacturing

Demand for products made by 3D printing, also known as AM (additive manufacturing), is expanding in both consumer and industrial markets as the technology, which has been around since...

August 2014

The light alternative

Optical circuit boards light the way past the data cliff

Over the past decade, the volume of digital information being captured, processed, stored and conveyed from one place to another has truly exploded with the proliferation of mobile data...

August 2014

Printed electronics: from lab to fab

Printed electronics is becoming pervasive

For a number of years printed electronics has been a technology that promised much but delivered little, but it is now moving from the laboratory into industry. In response to the need...

June 2014

Energy harvesting getting bigger

Energy harvesting is increasingly used to power large systems too

Interest in energy harvesting, the process associated with the collection of low-grade energy from sources such as ambient or waste heat, human power, solar, thermal and kinetic energy,...

June 2014

Supercapacitors charge energy storage

Supercapacitors open up a raft of opportunities for energy storage and delivery

Electricity storage is currently one of the prime areas for research and development within the energy and automotive sectors. With their high power density and suitability for short...

June 2014

Piezoelectrics power onwards

Piezoelectric materials and devices are used in many applications

Although the first practical piezoelectric devices emerged little more than three decades ago they are becoming increasingly commonplace and can now be found in a diverse array of...

May 2014

Full steam ahead!

With global demand for electricity exploding, steam turbines have a hot future ahead

Steam turbines, first introduced in the late 19th century, have been greatly in demand ever since for electricity generation, marine propulsion and in industry. They are responsible for...

May 2014

Thermal solar moves into the mainstream

The construction of thermal solar power plants introduces a new source of energy

CSP (Concentrating solar thermal power) has long been viewed favourably by the wholesale energy sector. Now, advances in technology – including the vital thermal storage capacity that...

May 2014

Journey to the centre of the Earth

Globally available geothermal energy offers countless benefits

Geothermal energy, or heat from the Earth, is an abundant form of renewable energy that can be used in small or large scale applications. Its exploitation is expanding rapidly...

May 2014

More than a drop from the ocean

Energy from the seas is emerging as a future huge source

Nowadays, marine energy accounts for only a tiny proportion of the electricity produced from renewable sources. However it is forecast to represent a very sizeable share of the overall...

April 2014

Treating the body electric

New and existing electrotechnologies offer interesting prospects for medicine

Awareness of the effects of electricity on the human body is not recent. Mentions of treatment using electricity were first recorded in ancient Greece and Rome. In more modern times,...

April 2014

Sound of silence

Medical ultrasonics, first introduced for diagnosis, are also found in other applications

Ultrasounds, which cannot be heard by humans, are used extensively in healthcare. They are found in diagnosis, surgical, therapeutic and cleaning environments, as well as in other...

April 2014

Taking a clear and safe look inside…

Medical imagery has made a major contribution to medicine for over a century

Medical imaging, used to visualize the interior of patients' bodies, is an indispensable tool that allows doctors to diagnose and treat internal illnesses and traumatic injuries, such...

March 2014

Maglev – a technology for the future?

Magnetically-levitated trains are running in a small number of countries

Railways have constantly improved since they were first introduced. However, they still rely on basically the same principle: train wheels running on steel tracks and causing friction....

March 2014

Can smart traffic and cars save lives?

Road safety has been steadily improving; the trend is expected to continue

Each year, an estimated 1,3 million people die in road traffic accidents; a further 20-50 million are injured. Technologies that include new safety devices, connected and autonomous...

March 2014

Easier, safer, leaner and cleaner

Greater electrical and electronic content in cars lightens drivers' burden

Most major automobile manufacturers now offer a variety of EVs (electric vehicles). However, this offering often obscures the fact that the electrical and electronic content in vehicles...

March 2014

EV wireless charging system: a standardization challenge

Since 2011 Dimitrios Ladas, IEC 2013 Young Professional Leader, has been a member of the IEC TC 69

 Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks, project team which develops the Standard for Wireless Power Transfer for EV charging. In this article he gives insights into...

March 2014

Heavy lifting

EVs muscle in on heavy industrial applications

Mention of EVs (electric vehicles) immediately brings to mind electric cars and possibly urban transport vehicles such as trolleybuses or electric buses. However, it is also important...

March 2014

Behind the scenes at the Sochi Olympics

IEC International Standards helped to make things work

Invisible but essential for the success of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, IEC work underpinned a host of technologies which helped in the smooth running of the Games.

January 2014

Tech trends 2014

Presentation by Shawn DuBravac, International CES in Las Vegas

The electronics industry is one of the fastest innovating industries globally. In 2013 USD 6 billion worth of electronic products were sold in categories that didn't exist just a few...

January 2014

Advanced displays for better content

UHDTV displays becoming viable consumer option

New display technologies are driving up the sales of equipment worldwide. The rollout of 4K or UHDTV (ultra high definition TV), which offers four times the resolution of current 1080p...

January 2014

Back with a vengeance!

High-performance audio is making a remarkable comeback

In spite of the widely held view that high-performance audio was losing the prominent position it had in the entertainment sphere a few decades ago, it has been making a significant...

January 2014

The Internet of Things

How sensors change the sharing of information

At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) a group of experts met and shared some of the opportunities and hurdles facing the Internet of Things in the consumer space. This is a short summary...

January 2014

Standards in the Cloud

Interview with Don Deutsch, Chairman of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 38, Distributed Application Platforms and Services

Don Deutsch, chairman of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 38, Distributed Application Platforms and Services, shares his thoughts on the importance of standards for the paradigm-shifting field of cloud...

January 2014

More content down the same pipe

Improving audio and video coding allows more and higher quality multimedia content

Over the last two decades digitization of multimedia product content has offered global access to a progressively wider choice of services and better audio and video. The most visible...

January 2014

Food print

3D food printer aims to help promote home cooking

“Darling, what should I print for dinner tonight?” Not cook, not bake, but print. This question, which, six months ago would have seemed odd, may be one frequently asked in...

January 2014

2014 CES megatrends

Connected devices everywhere for everybody

From dog bracelets to pill boxes, to devices that measure our health and fitness levels, the Internet of Things has become the Internet of Everything. At CES, literally hundreds of...

January 2014

Tiny MEMS

Huge impact on our digital future

MEMS, tiny electromechanical systems, are now an indispensable component of any piece of electronic equipment, from smart phones, to tablets, to wearable devices, cars, aeronautics and...

2013
November 2013

Cities getting smarter around the world

IEC International Standards help meet the challenges faced by smart projects developers

Smart Cities promise both to provide a sustainable energy solution to the challenges of the urban environment and improved quality of life for the millions of city-dwellers across the...

November 2013

Going green

Cutting costs with smart buildings

By 2050, according to current forecasts, about 6,3 billion people, comprising nearly 70% of the world's population, will be living in cities. This great surge of urbanization and the...

November 2013

Smart meters

Looking for smart users

Smart Grids, smart cities and smart buildings rely on the proper and reliable transmission, distribution and use of energy resources. This requires usage data to be exchanged between...

October 2013

Disruptive but creative technologies

Printed electronics and nanotechnologies are transformational processes

Printed electronics and nanotechnologies are set to revolutionize the electronics industry and many other domains. These disruptive, yet creative processes are expected to become two of...

October 2013

IEC work supports renewables' expansion

Standardization work for renewable sources gathers pace

With growing global energy needs and concern about the adverse impact of burning fossil fuels, efforts are under way to tap all possible sources of RE (renewable energy). IEC TCs...

October 2013

Robots enter all domains

Home, factories or hospitals are some of the environments where robots can be found

Deployed in car manufacturing to replace workers for hazardous tasks just over 50 years ago, robots were later introduced into other domains, such as homes and medical premises to take...

October 2013

Personal and public electric transport

Adoption of EVs for personal and public use is expanding, in particular in urban areas

Public and personal transport vehicles are increasingly dependent on electrical systems for propulsion and countless other functions, even more so in urban environments. Many IEC TCs...

October 2013

Working for a brighter and greener future

IEC Standards help lighting the way forward

The world’s lighting industry is constantly expanding, driven by many factors that include a need to check power consumption. The quest for energy-efficient lighting extends beyond...

August 2013

Lighting manages to smarten up

Whole sector progress benefits users and industry

Advanced light management systems make it possible to go beyond adequate lighting to deliver precisely the right light to the right place at the right time. This flexibility results in...

August 2013

Urban lighting: upgrade or replace?

Uneasy choice between high short-term costs and long-term savings

Lighting for the residential, commercial, industrial and public spaces is undergoing a radical transformation with the introduction of new lighting solutions. Users are often faced with...

August 2013

Bright future for LEDs on the roads

Car manufacturers are introducing LED-based lights in all classes of vehicles

IEC International Standards and evolving LED technology will both play a key role in increasing the adoption of solid-state lighting in automotive applications.

August 2013

LaserOrigami: laser-cutting 3D objects

Rapid prototyping with a laser cutter

Rapid prototyping, the fast-moving production of models or parts, is quickly expanding in manufacturing and other sectors. Researchers from the Hasso Plattner Institute, in Potsdam,...

July 2013

Twenty thousand MW under the sea

Marine energy is set to play a growing role in the global supply of renewables

With growing global energy needs and concern about the adverse impact of burning fossil fuels, efforts are under way to tap all possible sources of renewable energy. After developments...

July 2013

Small but by no means insignificant

Small hydropower projects have the potential of bringing electricity to many

For most people the word hydropower evokes pictures of massive installations and large dams, yet the potential of small hydroelectric projects is huge and expanding. Two IEC TCs...

July 2013

On and under the surface

TC work supports a wide range of technologies to convert marine energy into electrical energy

As the quest for a greater share of renewables in the global energy mix gathers momentum, marine energy is emerging as a huge and potentially unlimited source of power. IEC TC...

June 2013

Disruptive printing

Printed electronics is a relatively new transformational technology

Printed electronics is set to revolutionize the electronics industry and many other domains. It will prove a disruptive, yet creative process that will allow the production of new...

June 2013

IEC shares vision with energy leaders

IEC President attends GSEP 2013 Washington Summit

At the recent GSEP (Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership) annual summit the IEC was invited to participate in the programme and also hosted a session on energy microgrids for...

June 2013

The IEC helps keep the power on

New brochure showcases work in the energy sector

Modern life is unthinkable without electricity – it transforms lives. IEC International Standards cover all facets of electrical energy generation, distribution, storage and use;...

June 2013

Citius, Altius, Fortius…

The sky’s no limit.

"Faster, Higher, Stronger" – the Olympic motto could very well reflect the evolution of civil aviation. Planes are flying faster, higher and further than ever, as well as...

May 2013

Dr Robot needs standards too!

With more robots used in medical care, International Standards are vital for safety

Robotic systems have been around in industry for more than 50 years. Their introduction to the medical and healthcare environment around the world is much more recent and carries the...

May 2013

Silence is not always golden

IEC International Standards help hearing-impaired people live a more comfortable life

Hearing loss reportedly affects the lives of hundreds of millions in the world. Hearing aids help those suffering from this disability live a nearly "normal" life, but still...

May 2013

Securing Internet transactions

Standardization of lightweight cryptography: ISO/IEC 29192

As more and more PCs, mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) go online increased security is necessary for the compact devices which provide their Internet connections....

April 2013

Electric cars take off with new standards

With EV prices falling, sales are set to soar with an obvious need for relevant Standards

If 2012 was the year that hybrid vehicle sales moved up a gear, 2013 will be the year that brought drivers more choice. As automotive manufacturers unveil a vast array of plug-in hybrid...

April 2013

Electric urban transport

A revival after a long decline

More than half the world's population now live in cities, according to United Nations data, and that percentage is forecast to hit 60% by 2030. By 2025 there will be 37 megacities (22...

April 2013

Workshop covers e-mobility safety issues

IEC President stresses importance of safety aspects of e-mobility

ACOS (the Advisory Committee on Safety) organized a workshop on Safety aspects in the area of e-mobility, in Frankfurt, Germany, in February. The aim of the workshop, attended by IEC...

April 2013

"A great and interesting life"

Boris Kit, world leading space scientist who turned 103, worked in standardization

Life’s course can be decided by a string of unexpected events and encounters, some lucky, others unfortunate. This has certainly been the case for world-renowned US space scientist,...

March 2013

Sun to Earth: time for standards?

Mitigating the impact of severe geomagnetic storms on high-voltage power grids

Since the geomagnetic storm in March 1989 that produced a power system blackout in the Province of Québec, Canada, considerable scientific work has been undertaken in North America,...

March 2013

Clearing up misconceptions

Latest IEC International Standard for safety of AV and ITE

The latest International Standard for the safety of audiovisual products and information technology equipment is often incorrectly interpreted, clarification is needed. AV (audiovisual)...

January 2013

Fuel cells poised to power mobile devices

IEC work crucial to product development and safety

While the ever-growing demand for more powerful mobile electronic devices is pushing the conventional Li-ion (lithium-ion) battery to its limits, the latest portable fuel cell systems...

January 2013

Chores made easy

IEC International Standards help robots tidy up inside and outside the house

Following the introduction of the first electric vacuum cleaners in the early 20th century, a range of different appliances have helped deal with many household chores. However, all...

January 2013

Watt? No. Think lumen!

Finding the right light is not so clear

Domestic consumers, faced with the gradual phasing out of the incandescent light bulb that has lit their environment for well over a century, have some difficulty finding new...

January 2013

Robots: reshaping manufacturing

Industrial robots are redefining industry, products and working practices

Industrial robots have been around for over 50 years. The first one, an automated die-casting machine that took over hazardous tasks from workers, was installed at a General Motors...

2012
November 2012

Pumped-storage key to energy storage

Accommodating supply variations

With rising electricity consumption and costs, and the need to balance increasing levels of intermittent RE (renewable energy) generation from wind and solar systems, EES (electrical...

November 2012

Marine renewables

Tidal energy generation and the path to commercialization

Jonathan Colby was one of the three 2011 Young Professional Leaders. Here he outlines the advances that have been made in the marine renewable energy sector and highlights the...

November 2012

Going with the wind

IEC International Standards support wind power’s remarkable expansion

As demand surges for clean power generation to meet the world’s growing energy need, the renewable energy sector is set to expand rapidly. Wind energy is currently the most cost...

August 2012

Making the right connections

Room for many solutions to many messages

Multimedia content and computer data can be accessed through a variety of channels. In recent years the wireless distribution and reception of audio, video signals and other kinds of...

August 2012

IEC endorses four USB specifications

Industry, users and trade all derive benefit

Connectors and interfaces are central to computer and multimedia devices, allowing them to communicate and exchange all forms of data and content. With a total installed base now in...

July 2012

Leaner and cleaner heating and cooling

Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and renewables to cut consumption

The building sector accounts for more than 35% of the world’s total energy demand, "of which 75% is for space heating and domestic water heating", according to...

July 2012

Lean, mean and green

Heating, cooling and powering the 2012 Olympics in a sustainable way

Some modern Olympic Games have been branded as extravagant and a waste of public money. Installations are costly and facilities in service for only a short period during the event –...

July 2012

A smarter way of using heat pumps

Evening out the load

David Victor Tackie is one of the three 2011 Young Professional Leaders. In collaboration with Helena Segerberg, a Consultant Engineer from Balslev who is working on a large Danish...

June 2012

Reducing hazards in the home

The role played by IEC International Standards

By Elaine Clayton, 2011 IEC Young Professional

June 2012

Swim, paddle and play in safety

Standards set the bar

A heightened interest in leisure and concern for healthy lifestyles are driving demand in affluent societies for fitness installations – including swimming pools – in clubs,...

June 2012

No networked home without standards

Homes get their act together

The home environment becomes increasingly networked and integrated: appliances get smarter and communicate better with entertainment devices, lighting, heating, cooling and alarm...

June 2012

Keeping intruders at bay

IEC standards for reliable alarm and security systems

Producers of intrusion alarm and electronic security systems, whose past activities have focused mainly on industrial, commercial and government premises, have found new business...

May 2012

Energy storage to help meet future needs

Balancing out requirements

The IEC MSB (Market Strategy Board) has published a White Paper on EES (Electrical Energy Storage) in which it analyses the role EES plays in electricity use,...

May 2012

Cloud Computing

Building firm foundations for standard development

Cloud computing and the use of data, software and services that are kept on the Internet rather than on individual devices to provide on-demand access, represent a huge market expected...

May 2012

Bringing storage out of storage

Why storage technologies deserve a place of honour in Smart Grids.

EES (Electrical Energy Storage) is becoming increasingly important as alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, feed into the grid. EES allows for power flow to be controlled,...

May 2012

Power on the go

The electric vehicle and its battery

Focus by Boston Consulting Group, shortened and published with permission – full Focus available at: http://www.bcg.com/documents/file36615.pdfThe breakthrough for EVs (electric...

May 2012

Smart Grid Business Model

Electronomics: Reinventing electricity

The first step to profiting from Electronomics – which I define as the economics of the global shift to an Electricity Economy -- is to understand the revolution that is upon us and...

April 2012

Safe shipping doesn’t happen by accident

Electrical equipment and instrumentation play a key role

Maritime transportation is the most effective means of moving large quantities of cargo over long distances. Merchant ships transport around 90% of international trade (in terms of...

April 2012

Beaming at performance and safety

Geneva Motor Show displays widespread adoption of xenon and LED lighting

On the lookout for bling-bling, the flashy, extremes in performance, superlatives in whatever sense, some of the visitors to the 2012 International Motor Show in Geneva might have been...

April 2012

From analogue to digital

Using modern technology to improve racing car performance

This is the success story of a family team of car enthusiasts who set out to win a vintage car race. They integrated modern technology into their 1929 racing car in order to be able to...

April 2012

First American in orbit

50th anniversary of first US manned orbital space flight

On 20 February 2012, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first manned orbital mission of the United States, launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

March 2012

Helping to deal with hazards effectively

Environmental sensors

Sensors, devices that react to heat, light, radiation, chemicals or other stimuli, are central to our everyday life. They detect movement, the presence of humans, objects or certain...

March 2012

Itsy bitsy

MEMS now big in consumer electronics

MEMS, tiny electromechanical systems, are now an indispensable component of portable consumer electronics where they increase the performance, accuracy and reliability of existing...

March 2012

Humanizing the automobile

Providing safety through multiple sensors

Motor vehicle manufacturing has changed beyond recognition in the last few decades. Consumers once bought a simple chassis with four wheels and an engine attached; now they purchase a...

January 2012

Ever thinner

Components and materials reduce in size and increase in power

At the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas it seemed that the real buzz word for 2012 was THIN. While the trend is towards ever smaller components, screens – which are...

January 2012

Wired for the future

Connections are not only about wireless

The buzzword in the multimedia world now is wireless: audio-visual devices communicate wirelessly, content is distributed and accessed via wireless networks, some mobile devices can be...

January 2012

Expanding demands

Clean renewable world energy

Since IEC TC 4: Hydraulic Turbines, was set up in 1913, the world’s population has multiplied by a factor of 4 – now over the 7 billion mark. Almost a third of the world’s...

2011
December 2011

Airfield lighting

The LED revolution

Lighting plays a crucial role in day-to-day air traffic operations. After years of gradual improvements, AGL / AFL (airfield ground lighting or airfield lighting) is now on the...

November 2011

Electric cables

Wired up to go

A surprising number of fires are caused by electrical faults that are associated with wiring or wiring devices. In the United States, fixed wiring heads the list of causes of ignition...

November 2011

Shifting signals from copper to fibre

The distribution of radio frequency signals is experiencing rapid changes

RF or r.f. (radio frequency) signals, used to carry multimedia, voice or data content, may reach end-users through cable or over the air via electromagnetic wave propagation or...

November 2011

Connecting the world

Through thick and thin

Connectors play a vital role in any device. Yet they rarely attract much attention because the focus is generally on the device itself, be it a computer, telephone, photovoltaic module,...

November 2011

Relays

Using electricity to switch

Relays are electromechanical devices. That is an area for which the experts in IEC TC (Technical Committee) 17 are responsible.

November 2011

Safe and sound on the roads

Connected vehicles should improve road safety, but security issues need addressing

Roads are becoming safer in industrialized countries, in spite of increased traffic volumes, thanks to improvements in vehicle electronics. The introduction of connectivity is likely to...

August 2011

Sustainability

Banking on the motors

When the going gets tough, a customary fiscal reaction of many states is to print additional national currency. As the millions of fresh banknotes roll off the printing press, how many...

July 2011

Service robots in figures

An opportunity for a new educational strategy in engineering

The international summit on robolution held from 23-25 March 2011 in Lyon, France gathered together hundreds of the world's leading expert robot manufacturers, designers, developers and...

July 2011

Service robots in education

A national strategy to educate the children

In recent years the new category of robot known as the service robot has come into existence. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for engineers and developers, both in terms...

July 2011

Healthcare

Robots provide tranquillity and care

For many severe health conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or autism, which statistics seem to indicate are on the rise, it has been shown that robotic assistance can help...

July 2011

LVDC

The end of the plugs and sockets dilemma?

More than 100 years after the war of currents between Edison and Tesla/Westinghouse, LVDC (low voltage direct current) is being discussed as the possible next evolution of electricity...

June 2011

Intelligent buildings

Reducing energy use through smart technology

Even based on the most conservative of figures, in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, buildings account for at least one-quarter of all energy use....

June 2011

Sensors and transducers transmit intelligence

Intelligent buildings

There is a wide variety of intelligent applications in buildings that often simply goes unnoticed. Smart buildings get much of their intelligence from the small sensors and transducers...

June 2011

Building philosophy

High-performance schools

Taking a systems approach to managing energy in buildings is not restricted only to the devices and installations. The US (United States) has come up with the notion of High Performance...

June 2011

Halt! Who goes there?

Controlling access

Controlling access to buildings, particularly those open to the public, has become a major security challenge for any institution. The advent of the digital era has provided a myriad of...

May 2011

Power to the people

Do it yourself wirelessly

With the exception perhaps of the Y and Z generations who were born in and after the 1980s and won't have known any differently, most people who are of the Baby Boom generation, or...

April 2011

Peugeot VLV (Light City Car), 1942

The electric vehicle and its battery

Focus by Boston Consulting Group, shortened and published with permission – full Focus available at: http://www.bcg.com/documents/file36615.pdfThe breakthrough for EVs (electric...

April 2011

How far will it go?

Powering the electric vehicle

A major challenge for the electric vehicle (EV) is its technical ability to store enough energy to reach its destination. How far is far enough? How can range anxiety be circumvented?

April 2011

Power and water

Alternatives to chemical batteries in transportation

Fuel cells have the advantage of being non-polluting, non-combusting and producing no dangerous emissions, only water and heat. How close to broad-scale commercialization is this...