Technical Committeessort by issue

Issue 02/2020

Making plans for the IoT

How IEC is paving the way for IoT systems to interoperate

What is in the future for IoT standardization? François Coallier, who leads the work by IEC and ISO in this wide-reaching area, answers some of our questions.

Issue 02/2020

New IEC and ISO Standard will enable big data adoption across industry sectors

The IEC and ISO joint technical committee which develops international standards for artificial intelligence (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 42) has published part 3 of a series of standards for big data.

The main aim of ISO/IEC 20547-3:2020, Information technology — Big data reference architecture — Part 3: Reference architecture, is to facilitate a shared understanding across...

Issue 02/2020

New standard under development aims to minimize facial recognition errors

Biometric AI application use continues to grow as diverse industries adopt the technology.

From border controls, unlocking smart devices and enhancing retail security, to trials by some credit card companies for authenticating payments and hotels for checking in, the number...

Issue 02/2020

The complexities of communicating with machines

An update on the work of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 35 on user interfaces

Our lives are surrounded by machines for tasks ranging from the mundane to the complex. We rely on them to help us with our daily chores and to make better choices. They allow us to...

Issue 02/2020

Machine readable emotions

Standardization work in the field of affective computing

The science fiction movie Her tells the story of a man who falls in love with the virtual assistant on his computer’s operating system. The assistant is personified through a female...

Issue 01/2020

Information technology for smart cities

Update on the smart city work taking place in ISO/IEC JTC 1

Cities can benefit from the widespread use of data and technology. However, in order to leverage the benefit of new technologies, standards are needed. Not only do they allow for the...

Issue 01/2020

New standard will enable trustworthy mobile driving licence

As digitalization progresses, using personal ID for online transactions is expected to increase

Reserve a table, purchase a plane ticket, pay a bill and receive all confirmations, tickets and receipts electronically. We’ve grown accustomed to the convenience and ease of carrying...

Issue 01/2020

Trend setter

Interview with the new Chair of IEC Techical Committee 100

What lies in the future for IEC Technical Committee 100? Ulrike Haltrich, its new Chair, gives us a preview.

Issue 01/2020

A holistic ecosystem approach to AI

An ecosystem approach to the standardization of artificial intelligence can accelerate innovation and address societal concerns

Historically, IT systems and their governing standards were based on well understood environments. Early approaches emphasized performance for a specific problem definition. For...

Issue 01/2020

Giving a new shape to the economy

Industry perspective on the circular economy

The circular economy calls for a paradigm shift in production and consumption across society. Continual cycles recover and restore products, components and materials through strategies...

Issue 01/2020

IEC and ISO committee on AI expands programme of work

New work items in the areas of trustworthiness and computational methods launched

IEC and ISO develop international standards for AI. SC 42, the joint committee of IEC and ISO tasked with this work, recently approved new standards projects in the areas of...

Issue 06/2019

AI standards help accelerate digitalization of smart manufacturing

One of the key drivers of the digital transformation is smart manufacturing

Various analysts put the market estimate at several hundreds of billions US dollars with double digit CAGR growth. Much of this growth is being fuelled by the digitalization of the...

Issue 06/2019

Innovative technologies broaden use of digital twins

In challenging and often disruptive times, manufacturers are relying on innovative technologies to deliver to global market needs.

Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical objects or systems. They use real-world data to run simulations of situations before actual devices are built and deployed, and predict...

Issue 06/2019

The future of the printer

Update on the activities of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 28 on office equipment

Nearly all industries are impacted by the move to an all-digital environment. The reality is no different for the printing machine industry as the total sale of printers decreases...

Issue 05/2019

Artificial intelligence and big data: a paradigm shift in healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are frequently mentioned in many domains, often hyped as universal solutions to problems, in particular in healthcare where they already have a significant impactb

AI and big data will be central to the future of medical care to prevent and treat a myriad of issues, by assisting physicians and treatment. According to Allied Market Research,...

Issue 05/2019

JPEG is awarded 2019 Engineering Emmy

IEC, ISO and ITU committee for JPEG are honoured for their innovative work

The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” could not be more apt in today’s visual world.

Issue 05/2019

Answers in the cloud

Cloud computing has taken the IT industry by storm. Estimated at USD 24.6 billion in 2010, cloud computing has already surpassed USD 100 billion and is expected to reach USD 150 billion...

Issue 05/2019

Standing straight

New book published on digital human modelling

Digital human modelling (DHM) provides a virtual representation of humans and their behaviours. As an academic field of research that combines technology and design, DHM has more...

Issue 05/2019

Standards help ensure safety of medical devices using artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies bring countless benefits to daily life as they become increasingly incorporated in the devices and systems used across many industries.

In the case of healthcare, medical devices and systems can help save lives and improve quality of life for people living with different conditions and diseases. Machine learning,...

Issue 05/2019

Bright lights, big city

Smart cities offer solutions to achieve the UN SDGs

More than half of the world’s population currently lives in cities. This growth is expected to continue with city residents estimated to make up two-thirds of the population by 2050....

Issue 04/2019

Standards help achieve SDGs

An interview with Vimal Mahendru, Convenor of adhoc Group 84

The United Nations defines 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of its blueprint for building a better world by 2030. The SDGs serve as a call for action to all countries...

Issue 04/2019

Batteries for a sustainable world

Enabling batteries to meet safety specifications

The work of Technical Committee 21 reflects the changes in battery technology over the last 20 years. Standardizing safety requirements is more essential than ever before.

Issue 04/2019

IEC prepares for the future

MSB seminar to examine innovation, IIoT and resilience

In a city famous for its honking horns and yellow cabs, it is hard to imagine that horse drawn carriages were once the most common form of transportation in New York City. Two images of...

Issue 04/2019

Cyber security-by-design

Organizations should build cyber resilience from the beginning, rather than only looking at security after implementation

This year’s IEC General Meeting is taking place in China, a country with a long tradition of putting up buildings that can withstand earthquakes. Centuries ago the Chinese realized...

Issue 04/2019

Training and capacity building in standardization

China, Germany and Russia to sign collaboration pledges during IEC Academy & Capacity Building day

Underscoring its strong ties with academia, the IEC will sign collaboration pledges with Shenzhen Technology University, the DKE Next GEN programme and GOST-R Academy. The signing...

Issue 04/2019

Sign of the times

From symbols to communication in a digital world

The work of IEC Technical Committee 3 has much evolved since the early days of the IEC, partly as a result of the gradual digitalization of our societies.

Issue 04/2019

Establishing trustworthiness is vital in our human-machine world

As long as human civilization has existed, people have needed to trust people in personal and business situations. Trust is at the heart of everything.

Over the last century, automation has advanced in many industries. More recently people must work with non-human entities, which increasingly use artificial intelligence (AI)...

Issue 03/2019

How can IEC shape the circular economy?

IEC ACEA and TC 111 take a close look at material efficiency and the circular economy

From mounting piles of waste to the depletion of natural resources, the current modes of production and consumption are unsustainable. Based on the current linear economic model,...

Issue 03/2019

Survey results on the circular economy and material efficiency

An interview with Solange Blaszkowski, Chair of IEC ACEA

As the topics of the circular economy (CE) and material efficiency (ME) receive greater importance around the world, the Advisory Committee on environmental aspects (ACEA) recently...

Issue 03/2019

Smart tools and apps for home gardeners

Robots in the garden

Home gardeners looking to upgrade their lawnmowers, sprinklers and outdoor lights can choose from a growing range of tools paired with smart technology, which need not cost the earth.

Issue 03/2019

Virtual reality makes real life even better

Innovative technologies improve business operations and enhance workplace safety

Imagine being able to see the issues of large-scale construction projects before building is complete and to collaborate with engineers and architects to keep on top of changes, or...

Issue 03/2019

How secure is your data self?

In our digitalized world, we need to understand, control and ensure data security

In 2019, a day of data includes 500 million tweets, 294 billion emails, four terabytes produced by a connected car, 65 billion messages sent over WhatsApp and two billion minutes of...

Issue 03/2019

Moving data around the network

Data networking is at the centre of current digital trends

The digitalization of information is underway. It is enabling the use of data to better understand our preferences and provide us with the services that match our needs. At home, the...

Issue 03/2019

Standards will make e-scooters safer

New TC to provide standards for personal e-transporters

Walking down a city street, pedestrians have recently been confronted by a new phenomenon. Sailing by on sidewalks or bike lanes, commuters have adopted electric scooters as a popular...

Issue 03/2019

Under the laser spotlight

IEC Technical Committee 76 prepares safety standards for lasers

Laser technology is so widely used today that we forget that it can be dangerous for our health if it does not meet the strictest safety standards. IEC expertise in producing safety...

Issue 02/2019

Digital learning is redefining education

Imagine experiencing an historic moment as it happens, or discovering cellular biology in 3D from inside the body. This is now possible using virtual reality

In parts of Asia, North and South America, Europe and Africa, digital technologies are enabling students to learn more effectively and from entirely new perspectives.

Issue 02/2019

In the beginning there was...terminology

Plans are afoot to make the Electropedia more accessible

IEC Technical Committee (TC 1) is the earliest IEC TC and plays an essential role maintaining the International Electrotechnical Vocabulary (IEV) otherwise known as the Electropedia.

Issue 02/2019

Making IT sustainable

IEC and ISO join hands to develop energy efficiency benchmarks for ICT

ISO and IEC produce many joint standards which specify how to improve the energy efficiency of information and communication technology (ICT). A number of these publications deal...

Issue 02/2019

Balancing privacy, security and convenience in mobile devices

Industry, governments, regulatory bodies, and consumers need international standards for biometric authentication technology

Mobile devices have rapidly changed society and the way in which we interact and exchange information. For example, the mobile phone has rapidly evolved from being purely a telephone to...

Issue 01/2019

Keeping track of things with RFID

Agriculture, healthcare and retail are some of the industries that already benefit from radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

RFID plays a key role in streamlining supply chain management applications, as the digitization of industries advances.

Issue 06/2018

Eliminating bias from algorithms

Eliminating bias from the data used to train algorithms is a key challenge for the future of machine learning

Wael Diab, who is leading international efforts to standardize artificial intelligence (AI), has identified the mitigation of data bias as a priority challenge for eventual future...

Issue 06/2018

How secure is your medical device?

Technology advances and the rising awareness of fitness are driving the smart medical devices industry

In 2007, when cautious doctors replaced a former US Vice President’s heart defibrillator, a battery-powered device placed under the skin to monitor heart rate, they modified it so it...

Issue 06/2018

How to get your motor going

Energy efficiency is a key driver for electric motor related standards

One of the earliest IEC technical committees (TCs) prepares the future for electric motors and generators.

Issue 05/2018

How tech savvy leaders stay ahead of the game

Standards addressing latest technologies give business strategies a competitive edge

Rapid advances in technology are changing how we live and work and along with this, the expectations of people and businesses.

Issue 05/2018

Protecting the planet

IEC TC 111 prepares crucial Standards to help industry meet environmental targets

IEC Technical Committee (TC) 111 prepares horizontal International Standards which are key in helping to ensure electrical and electronic products are designed with the environment in...

Issue 04/2018

A glimpse into the future

Pioneering research spurs on IEC multimedia work

Cutting edge research and development (R&D) projects are improving tomorrow’s world for people with disabilities, for car drivers and even for radio listeners. IEC Technical...

Issue 04/2018

Embracing the technology that is reshaping our world

Innovative information technologies are an inextricable part of modern life

Billions of connected devices and systems make up the internet of things (IoT), and help to simplify how we communicate, work and go about daily tasks.

Issue 04/2018

Building on synergies is the way forward

IEC develops effective business model for systems committees

Increasingly, industry projects need to apply a combination of standards, in order for products and systems to run smoothly. The technology must be interoperable at different levels and...

Issue 04/2018

Clothes that reveal how you really feel

Electronics and sensors woven into textiles and other wearables enable comfortable and reliable health monitoring

International Standards for wearable electronics devices are now being actively worked on in a number of technical committees (TCs) within the IEC community.

Issue 03/2018

Riding the crest of the wave

Renewed focus on marine energy relies on ground-breaking IEC publications

Large marine energy facilities are being deployed, with the help of pioneering standardization work accomplished by IEC TC 114.

Issue 03/2018

First International Standards committee for entire AI ecosystem

Industry recognizes standardization will be essential to broad adoption of AI

Information technology has become an integral part of our lives whether it be in the consumer, industrial or commercial aspects. It is hard to imagine life, work or entertainment...

Issue 02/2018

Evolving with digital transformation

Interview with Phil Wennblom, new Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1

Information technology has penetrated our homes, cities and workplaces, as billions of “sensorized” devices and systems that form part of the internet of things (IoT) help to...

Issue 02/2018

Smart buildings for smart living

Open Sesame! Or the door to your home, using voice command

Our world is getting smarter by the minute. Voice recognition allows us to tell devices to do things, such as find a specific TV channel or remind us of all our appointments for the...

Issue 01/2018

Living in a smart world

Standardization helps achieve an effective, safe, reliable IoT, while enabling the creation of a global market

Whether we realize it or not, the internet of things (IoT) is part of many aspects of daily life. Thanks to billions of connected, “sensorized” devices and systems, it can...

Issue 01/2018

Achieving harmonization

Recognition for the work done by IEC TC 40 experts around the world

Capacitors, resistors and inductors are passive components. Together with active components (semiconductors), circuit boards, connectors and some other components such as filters,...

Issue 08/2017

30 years of Standards for cutting-edge technology

ISO/IEC JTC 1 to broaden its remit

Information technology doesn’t stand still and neither does the IEC and ISO joint technical committee, ISO/IEC JTC 1, established in 1987 to cover these technologies. This year,...

Issue 07/2017

Driving the internet of things through standardization

IoT is all around us with millions of connected devices

The internet of things (IoT) is now in sharp focus for the technology industry and for standards development organizations, such as IEC, which publishes consensus-based International...

Issue 07/2017

A place in the sun

Standards for solar PV support market needs

As the price of photovoltaic (PV) systems continues to tumble and the requirement for cleaner renewable forms of energy grows, more and more of our energy needs will be met by...

Issue 07/2017

Turn up the heat

New Technical Specifications on electromagnetic nearfields

Safety is a crucial concern for anyone working in industries that use electroheating. The IEC has established key International Standards in that area under the remit of  IEC...

Issue 07/2017

80th anniversary of industrial electroheating standardization

Polish experts continue to play a significant part in leading the development of standards in this important field.

Alicja Haras, Secretary of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 27: Industrial electroheating and electromagnetic processing, looks back at the TC’s history.

Issue 06/2017

Thirty years of ICT standardization

IoT subcommittee is the new kid on the block

The world has never been more connected and surrounded by ICT. Whether we realize it or not, many aspects of ISO/IEC JTC 1 work affect daily life. From a smart toothbrush, animal...

Issue 05/2017

From toys to human organs – the diversified world of 3D printing

Today, 3D printing is considered as a disruptive technology that has the potential to radically change the way we produce and consume

The term "3D printing", also known as additive manufacturing, originally referred to a process that deposits a binder material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads...

Issue 05/2017

Tags, RFID and the Internet of Things

e-tech catches up with Dan Kimball, Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31

Information technology is all around us and part of our daily lives. Shopping has never been easier, with the swipe of a barcode, voice recognition and fingerprints provide access to...

Issue 03/2017

From H₂ to electricity and to H₂O – the virtuous circle

Fuel cell technologies offer opportunities to generate cleaner energy

Fuel cells (FCs) convert chemical energy from a fuel into electrical energy and heat through a chemical reaction, and not through combustion. Increasingly they are being introduced...

Issue 03/2017

Ready for the Smart Grid?

The IEC is updating Standards which have wide repercussions on Smart Grids

As the use of Smart Grids escalates around the world, the IEC is busy updating some of its most requested International Standards. Technical Committee (TC) 57: Power systems...

Issue 04/2017

Ten years of marine energy standardization

IEC work helps lay the foundations of an emerging Renewable Energy sector

Today, a number of different technologies are being developed to extract energy from oceans, such as tidal, river and ocean current and wave power. Though only a few large-scale systems...

Issue 04/2017

Mitigating the risks and impact of explosions

IEC Standards help reduce the number of casualties from accidental industrial explosions

Explosions in a wide range of industrial or other installations can be caused by the wrong or faulty equipment, and/or by poor operating procedures or mistakes. Risks can be...

Issue 02/2017

Expanded scope for SyC AAL

IEC work to help people remain active longer

To deal with Active Assisted Living (AAL) issues, the IEC has established a Systems Committee, IEC SyC AAL. This SyC has the role of promoting safety, security, privacy and cross-vendor...

Issue 02/2017

Raising awareness on IEC standardization work

IEC TC 40 public website paves the way for outreach from other IEC TCs

Recently several IEC Technical Committees (TCs) expressed the wish to have their own website to present specific TC activities that may be of interest to the general public.

Issue 01/2017

Why the IoT needs standardization

Interview with Sangkeun Yoo, Convener for ISO/IEC JTC 1/WG 10: Internet of things

The internet of things (IoT) is already part of our lives. It’s penetrated our smart cities and homes, agriculture, automotive/transportation, energy management, entertainment,...

Issue 08/2016

Standardization can help millions access electricity

IEC approves Systems Committee for LVDC

It has been a busy year for Systems Evaluation Group (SEG) 4: Low Voltage Direct Current (LVDC) Applications, Distribution and Safety for use in Developed and Developing...

Issue 08/2016

IEC actively supports gender diversity

Embracing the female perspective in standardization

Gender equality is essential for achieving peace, defending rights, fostering economic growth, and promoting global well-being. In standardization, it is important to include female...

Issue 07/2016

IEC work supports cross-sector AAL

IEC plays a growing role helping those seeking to remain active to access a variety of services

To deal with Active Assisted Living (AAL) issues, the IEC has established a Systems Committee, IEC SyC AAL. This SyC has the role of promoting safety, security, privacy and cross-vendor...

Issue 06/2016

Smart Energy moves ahead

Systems Committee on Smart Energy Technical Committee Forum

Smart Energy can be described as connecting many points of generation with many points of consumption, from end-to-end,  not limited to just the electric grid. Smart Energy is also...

Issue 06/2016

The technology that makes our world tick

International Standards contribute to the prevention of cyberattacks

As more areas of our lives become connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), the work of experts in ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1: Information Technology, who develop...

Issue 05/2016

Standards help improve digital audio and video

New ways of working drive technologies for compressing and transmitting images

Information and communication technologies pervade our daily lives and all economic sectors. The way we access and use information has changed. We view, send and receive documents and...

Issue 05/2016

Standards support Smart Grid architecture

IEC International Standards will play critical role in Smart Grid power supply and distribution infrastructures

Information is gathered and decision making occurs at substation level in Smart Grids. The electricity-dispatching control centre deals with the strategic management of grid...

Issue 05/2016

Limiting access to approved persons only

Heightened security measures at regional and international sports events

In addition to their natural sports appeal this year’s European Football Championship, Euro 2016, and Olympics Games have been marked by an unprecedented deployment of human and...

Issue 04/2016

Multimedia systems and equipment produce different realities

Virtual reality and augmented reality rely on audiovisual systems and equipment

Virtual reality (VR), which replicates an environment, and augmented reality (AR), which adds elements and information to a real environment, are made possible through the incorporation...

Issue 03/2016

TC work underpins mobile and stationary energy storage

Batteries are driving growth in mobile devices, e-mobility and stationary energy storage

In recent years consumers have benefited from the introduction of countless mobile and wearable IT and consumer electronics (CE) devices and systems. Meanwhile, public and individual...

Issue 02/2016

Protecting systems small and big from electromagnetic disturbance

IEC TC work on EMC protects covers multiple domains

Electromagnetic interference can adversely affect many electronic and electrical systems and equipment. Ensuring the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of these systems and equipment...

Issue 01/2016

Cables still in the loop for data transfer

RF systems are thriving in support of ICT and media sectors

Radio frequency (RF) equipment is still widely used for the distribution and transmission of data, voice and multimedia content in the telecom, broadcast, information and communications...

Issue 09/2015

More light for less energy

IEC TC standardization work helps cap energy use for lighting in the long term

The lighting sector is undergoing a profound transformation as most countries, seeking to limit increases in their energy consumption, adopt energy-efficient solutions. IEC Technical...

Issue 08/2015

Protecting homes and buildings from intruders

Multiple sectors to drive steady growth for the alarm and electronic security systems sector

The market for alarm and electronic security systems will continue to expand in coming years, fed by the quest for increased safety and security, constant concern over terrorism and...

Issue 08/2015

Pioneer in innovation

ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 on information technology

ISO/IEC JTC 1 is the Joint Technical Committee of the IEC and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for International Information Technology Standards. Created in...

Issue 07/2015

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...

Issue 06/2015

Always safer medical electrical equipment

IEC standardization work ensures medical electrical equipment and systems are safe to use and operate

Medical care rests on trust. Trust between patients and medical staff and trust of the latter the equipment they use for examining and treating patients. IEC International Standards are...

Issue 06/2015

No power without communication

Communication between equipment and systems is increasingly important for electric power grids

A transition from one-way power distribution structures to two-way grids, where information is exchanged in both directions between producers and consumers, is taking place. This change...

Issue 05/2015

Powerful and quick as the wind

Wind power is set to gather more pace with the growing reliance on renewable energies

As countries throughout the world try to increase the share of renewable energies (REs) in their electricity generation portfolio, wind power has surfaced as the most cost-effective and...

Issue 04/2015

Sensing light at fibre end

A number of components bring light to the end of the fibre, allowing multiple applications

Fibre optic systems can be found in a number of applications including communications and sensors. IEC Subcommittee (SC) 86C prepares International Standards for fibre optic systems and...

Issue 04/2015

The heat is always on for special TC

Clean and energy efficient electroheating is found in many industrial processes

Electroheating, the high-power heating of material using electrical energy, is widely used in the food-processing industry. However, it is better known in other sectors for dealing with...

Issue 03/2015

TC work supports EV market expansion

As the number and variety of EVs continues to grow, IEC TC 69 work will remain central to the marketplace

Electric vehicles (EVs) are on the move. Their impact on the automotive and industrial vehicle sectors will continue to grow in coming decades, not just in terms of volume, but also of...

Issue 02/2015

Connecting down the line

From line traps to power systems management

Energy infrastructures are evolving towards connected systems, such as Smart Grids. Over the past five decades, major advances in technology have changed the way power is generated,...

Issue 02/2015

Staving off the dangers of DIY

Hammering home safety first

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

Issue 01/2015

IEC Systems Committee Smart Energy

Systems Committee on Smart Energy to extend the scope of strategic or other horizontal groups to bridge areas covered by more than one or two TCs/SCs

As power utilities have to cope with the complex mixture of ever growing demand, the integration of intermittent sources from renewables and ageing infrastructures, the need for...

Issue 01/2015

Larger, smaller, sharper and… pervasive

Displays of all sizes are to be found everywhere

In recent years fast growing sales of CE (consumer electronics) and ICT (information and communications technology) systems, which doubled between 2007 and 2014, have driven a huge...

Issue 09/2014

Dedicated to improving quality of life

Standards will help the elderly lead a healthier, more active and independent life

Enhancing the health, quality of life and independence of older people has become a priority for many states as a fast ageing population presents them with a number of social and...

Issue 08/2014

IEC Standards drive hi-tech advances

A handful of disruptive technologies supported by IEC standardization have emerged in recent years

A number of new key technologies have entered the manufacturing world after years at the R&D stage. Among these, fibre optics, printed electronics and nanotechnologies are having a...

Issue 08/2014

Sea, sun and earth

Standardization and certification for renewable sources

As energy demand keeps rising countries seek to cut their reliance on fossil fuels for economic and environmental reasons. REs (renewable energies) are set to play a role in this shift....

Issue 08/2014

Energy storage helps power world ahead

Balancing power generation and demand requires the right storage solutions

To balance increasing levels of intermittent RE generation from wind and solar systems, EES (Electrical Energy Storage) solutions are needed that use and store energy efficiently and...

Issue 08/2014

Standards matters in road/rail transport

Safer road and rail transport with IEC Standards

Road and rail transports are enjoying a major expansion throughout the world, they are central to the global economy. They depend on electrical and electronic systems which rely on...

Issue 08/2014

Sharper, better pictures and sounds

IEC Standardization work is instrumental in driving multimedia growth

Multimedia users are constantly expecting better audio and video quality on their equipment whether they access content on large or smaller, mainly mobile devices. A number of IEC TCs...

Issue 08/2014

How standards impact our world

Ensuring safety and simplifying life

Modern life is more and more IT centric, whether buying a plane ticket, making reservations, paying bills, reading the news, watching a movie or downloading a song. Many daily...

Issue 08/2014

Getting the right picture

Advances in medical imaging make for better diagnosis and treatment

A central aspect of modern medical treatment is the ability to see inside the body and identify lesions or illnesses in a non-invasive manner. International Standards for many of the...

Issue 07/2014

How standards help achieve sustainability

Energy-efficient, safe products

We live in a fast moving world, in which technology is constantly evolving. There are increasing numbers of devices and systems in the marketplace which are used in various daily...

Issue 07/2014

From research to standardization

IEC TC 33 Chairman on career highlights and power capacitor standardization

Dr Hebbale Narasimhaiah Nagamani took over the chairmanship of TC (Technical Committee) 33: Power capacitors and their applications for a six-year period on 1 May 2014. Nagamani has a...

Issue 06/2014

Print map for the electronic industry

IEC TC helps ground-breaking technology progress

Printed electronics is a relatively new technology that uses an additive process to create a variety of electronic components and systems. It is rapidly advancing from research and...

Issue 05/2014

Big data, big future

New ISO/IEC JTC1 study group

Business, academic, and government leaders broadly agree about the potential of big data to fuel innovation, advance commerce and drive progress. We know that big data could change how...

Issue 05/2014

Batteries central to future grid storage

Batteries are set to play an increasing significant role in future grid energy storage

Electricity is consumed as it is generated, supply must be reliable and demand must always be met. This requires spare capacity that can be ramped up rapidly and, ideally, storage....

Issue 04/2014

Standards for marine energy move on

Extensive standardization work needed to develop marine energy sector

Marine energy is emerging as a huge source of renewable energy but depends on disparate kinds of energies, all of which require different technologies for their full exploitation. IEC...

Issue 03/2014

Standards the heart of safe medical equipment

IEC work critical to safe medical care

IEC International Standards play a central role in guaranteeing the safe operation of electrical medical equipment for the wellbeing of patients and users. International Standards in...

Issue 03/2014

Eavesdropping on health matters

IEC standardization work on ultrasonics furthers medical advances

Most pieces of electrical medical equipment and systems are used in only a limited number of procedures. This is not the case in the ultrasonic domain, which has a very wide range of...

Issue 02/2014

On the right track

IEC standardization for rail transport contributes to the sector's development

Rail transport is a well-established and pivotal mode of transportation both for passengers and freight and is a key component of the global economy. It has enabled many remote areas to...

Issue 01/2014

Gearing up for standardization

IEC TC 119 Working Groups dealing with standardization on printed electronics

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...

Issue 01/2014

Small or huge – displays are everywhere

Supporting our thirst for multimedia content electronic displays are part of our lives

The top categories of products presented at this year's Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show and due to come onto the market in 2014 include electronic displays that offer different...

Issue 08/2013

TC work to help thwart potential threats

Preventing electromagnetic interference from nuclear and other weapons

As concerns about potential risks to power and telecommunication grids from nuclear devices and electromagnetic weapons grow, IEC subcommittee work takes centre stage

Issue 08/2013

Tackling noise effectively

IEC TC 29 develops Standards to measure noise and lower its negative impact

Noise is second only to pollution in terms of negative environmental impact, a fact often overlooked as it is not as easy to see. Noise is estimated to cost countries huge sums every...

Issue 08/2013

Helping turn solar power into electricity

IEC Technical Committee works on solar photovoltaic energy systems

Together with wind and marine resources, energy generation from PV (photovoltaic) systems is a relatively recent source of renewable energy. It has been expanding dramatically in recent...

Issue 07/2013

Brighter, cleaner and cheaper lights

More efficient and robust technologies will benefit users and the environment

In 2007, the International Energy Agency estimated that lighting accounted for just under 20% of electricity use worldwide. Public policies, reflecting environmental and energy saving...

Issue 05/2013

Printout for the future

New IEC TC for new technology

Printed electronics is a relatively new technology that uses an additive process to create a variety of electronic components and systems. It is rapidly advancing from research and...

Issue 05/2013

Keep safety sky high

IEC TC works to ensure electronic systems for aircraft operate reliably

The safety of aircraft, even light aircraft, has become increasingly reliant on electronic systems – avionics – designed and manufactured for ADHP (aerospace, defence and high...

Issue 04/2013

Trust your doctor and his equipment

IEC International Standards ensure medical electrical equipment and systems are safe to use and operate

Medical care is a matter of trust, patients trust doctors and medical staff who, in turn trust the equipment they use for examining and treating patients. IEC International Standards...

Issue 04/2013

Taming excessive noise levels

IEC TC 29 develops Standards to measure noise and lower its negative impact

Noise is second only to pollution in terms of negative environmental impact, a fact often overlooked as it is not as easy to see. Noise is estimated to cost countries huge sums every...

Issue 04/2013

Legal sharing of digital media content made easier

IEC and ITU cooperate to develop cross-platform IPTV standard

As consumers become increasingly mobile, digital media solutions need to deliver flexibility across technology platforms and devices, while protecting content producers rights....

Issue 03/2013

Profile: Karen Higginbottom

Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1: Information Technology

Karen Higginbottom has been Chair of ISO/IEC JTC (Joint Technical Committee) 1: Information technology since November, 2008 and she has participated in the Committee since 1992. In...

Issue 03/2013

Avoiding accidents

Adding electrical equipment to industrial machines for safer operation

Equipment such as machine tools and robots has been used extensively in a variety of manufacturing sectors for decades. Individuals working with or in close proximity to these machines...

Issue 02/2013

Safer work on live installations

Established and new work practices and equipment ensure safe live working

Electrical equipment cannot always be powered down for maintenance or repair and work must therefore frequently be carried out on live installations, often at high voltages. IEC TC 78:...

Issue 02/2013

Thwarting potential threats

Preventing electromagnetic interference from nuclear and other weapons

As concerns about potential risks to power and telecommunication grids from nuclear devices and electromagnetic weapons grow, IEC subcommittee work takes centre stage

Issue 02/2013

Safer entertainment and work

IEC TC work ensures audiovisual, IT and communication equipment is safe to use for all

Audiovisual and information and communication technology equipment can be found in virtually all homes and working environments. The widespread existence of such electrically powered...

Issue 01/2013

System: more than the sum of its parts

Why system standards and conformity assessment need a different approach

A system by definition combines a number of different elements. Each of these elements by itself has a limited and defined function. However, when they are brought together in a system...

Issue 01/2013

Balancing power needs using fuel cells

Emerging sector will play major role in meeting tomorrow's energy challenges

FCs (fuel cells) convert the chemical energy of fuels such as hydrogen, methane or methanol into electricity through a chemical reaction. They are found in various power units and are...

Issue 08/2012

TC work central to hydropower success

The clean power of water

Hydropower continues to be the main source of clean energy in the world. Worldwide, it accounted for 16% of overall electricity generation and for 81,6% of electricity generation from...

Issue 08/2012

Wherever it blows, TC work is essential

Wind at the forefront of renewables field

Governments throughout the world are trying to increase the share of renewables in their electricity generation portfolio both as a precaution against fluctuating prices for fossil...

Issue 08/2012

TC 120 for smart grid integration

EES (Electrical Energy Storage) Systems to be focus

Recognizing that the proportion of RE (Renewable Energy) is likely to increase in all major electricity markets, but that large-scale incorporation of RE into existing electricity grids...

Issue 07/2012

Rechargeable power anywhere

Balancing power supplies and growing digital needs

Secondary batteries, which can be recharged, unlike their primary counterparts, offer the greatest flexibility for many applications, whether mobile or stationary. They make up the...

Issue 07/2012

Disposable yet irreplaceable

Some fire left in primary batteries

Access to power whenever and wherever it is needed is essential. When connection to the grid is not available or in other cases it can only be ensured by batteries. The global share of...

Issue 07/2012

Developing standards for safer navigation

IEC TC supports increased use of electronics for navigation and communication at sea

Safety at sea, always a major concern for seafarers, has made huge advances in the last hundred years, particularly where navigation and communication systems are concerned....

Issue 07/2012

No power, no safe shipping

TC work covers all electrical installations in a demanding environment

Merchant ships are the lifeblood of the global economy, transporting around 90% of international trade (in terms of volume), as well as some two billion passengers a year. Continuous...

Issue 07/2012

Heat without fire for manufacturing

Heady times for TC 27 experts

Electroheating, the high-power heating of various materials using electrical energy, is used to make countless products we use, consume or even eat. Steel or aluminium ingots, ceramics...

Issue 07/2012

Small but powerful

Micro electromechanical systems are the current big thing

MEMS (Micro electromechanical systems), were invented in the 1980s and have been used for years by the car, computer and medical industries as well as for industrial applications. Now,...

Issue 06/2012

The heat is on!

No rest in sight for TC 27 experts

Countless products we use, consume or even eat can result from employing electroheating techniques. Electroheating is the high-power heating of various materials using electrical...

Issue 06/2012

Safeguarding the Olympic spirit

Joint ISO/IEC Committee work central to Olympic Games organization

Ensuring the security of major global sporting events such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup represents a major challenge for organizers. The contests attract huge crowds and...

Issue 05/2012

TC work helps keep households safe

Safety begins at home

The large and rapidly increasing number of electrical appliances used in the home and elsewhere means that new and updated standards are constantly required to deal with safety issues...

Issue 05/2012

Environmental aspects changing markets

Regulations and markets require environmental standardization

More attention than ever before is being given to the overall environmental impact of industrial goods throughout their whole life cycle: from raw material acquisition to the...

Issue 04/2012

Rechargeable power anywhere

Energy on tap

Instant access to electricity anywhere, at any time, is becoming more and more important. In many conditions and locations, only batteries can provide this access. Secondary batteries,...

Issue 04/2012

Primary batteries shall not go flat

Category proves irreplaceable

Stored electrical energy is essential for providing access to power whenever and wherever it’s needed, as well as for helping balance supply and demand or when power from the grid is...

Issue 03/2012

No power: no ships, no offshore drilling!

Electrical installations in the maritime environment – a dynamic domain

Steam propulsion, which ushered in the era of modern ships, was introduced in the first decade of the 19th century. The next major technical milestone – electric power – was...

Issue 03/2012

Standardization for safe global shipping

Increasing use of electronics at sea

Carrying an estimated 90% of world trade and billions of passengers every year, international shipping represents the life blood of the global economy. Safety, always a major concern...

Issue 03/2012

Wheeling along quietly, without interference

CISPR's work on behalf of the electric vehicle

One of the IEC TCs (Technical Committees) that deals with EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) is CISPR, the international special committee on radio interference. CISPR works to...

Issue 02/2012


Measuring and setting EMC limits

CISPR, the international special committee on radio interference, is one of two IEC TCs (Technical Committees) that deals with EMC (electromagnetic compatibility), the other...

Issue 02/2012

Creating the big picture

IEC TC 65 and ISO TC 184 join forces to plot automation

There's strong motivation among some of the world's leading industrial automation experts to streamline their future international standardization work and make it clearer and more...

Issue 02/2012

Shocking electronics

Standards define test impulses, mostly

Electronic products must pass some level of immunity test when subjected to conducted or radiated energy. Some of those tests include subjecting the equipment under test to electrical...

Issue 01/2012

The future is bright, the future is flat

Flat panel displays dominate the multimedia and ICT markets

Displays are central to all multimedia, ICT (information and communication technology) and to a large number of other devices and systems, such as digital still cameras, mobile phones,...

Issue 01/2012

TC work sustains media expansion

Harmonization through collaboration with other relevant bodies

The audio-visual and multimedia sectors contain some of the world's most dynamic and productive industries. They are not limited to manufacturing systems and products for professionals...

Issue 01/2012

Plug and play

Enabling the smart home and office

Seamlessly switching off lights, turning on heating or cooling remotely, communicate or listen to music that follows you as you move from room to room, this not only requires smart...

Issue 10/2011

Ground lighting for the skies

Take off and land in safety

Air traffic safety is a complex and multi-dimensional issue. As one of its main elements, AGL (airfield ground lighting) is essential for the movement of aircraft both in the air and on...

Issue 10/2011

LED into the future

Leading lights in the field

Public policies, reflecting environmental and energy saving concerns, are driving the global take-up of energy-efficient bulbs. LED (light-emitting diode), or solid-state lighting...

Issue 10/2011

ISO/IEC JTC 1 Plenary in November

ISO/IEC JTC 1 2011 Plenary Meeting in California

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization)/IEC JTC (Joint Technical Committee) 1: Information Technology Standards, is the standards development environment where experts...

Issue 09/2011

Master mariners need standards too

Ensuring the safety of ships and offshore units

The safety of ships, of mobile and fixed offshore units and of their crews, is of prime concern and is largely dependent on the reliable operation of electrical installations, of cables...

Issue 09/2011

Keeping copper in the loop

RF systems are ‘live wires’

RF (radio frequency) equipment is widely used for the distribution and transmission of data, voice and multimedia content in the telecom, broadcast, ICT (Information and Communications...

Issue 09/2011

A guiding light in fibre optics

Maintaining the signal

Ever since the invention of the first low-loss optical fibre in 1970 and the initial installation of optical fibre networks in the early 1980s, the market for fibre optic-based...

Issue 08/2011

IEC supports renewable energies

Wind, water and sun come into play

Global energy needs are increasing constantly and with the diminishing supply of fossil fuels and rising environmental and safety concerns, renewables are likely to occupy a growing...

Issue 08/2011

Carry-on reading

International Standards for multimedia e-publishing

e-books are bringing new opportunities to the publishing industry. Offering more than a mere interface for reading text, e-bookscan provide much better picture quality than is available...

Issue 08/2011

Standby for better performance

Much is being written and said about the smart homes of the future, with their networked appliances and automated systems, but a networked home also means a home with a large number of appliances on standby.

Even in our current 'un-networked' homes, standby power accounts for 5 % to 15 % of a household's power consumption in developing countries and is responsible for 240 million tonnes of...

Issue 08/2011


A trip to the hygienist might be less daunting than a visit to the dentist, but even so...

...most of us probably spend our time in the hygienist’s chair willing the process to be over.We are less likely to occupy ourselves examining the equipment used to clean and descale...

Issue 08/2011

Tiger in the tank

Getting from A to Z – sustainably

The stakes in EVs are high and growing. The motor industry considers EVs to be key to providing sustainable transportation for people and merchandise while reducing emissions and...

Issue 08/2011

Risk management

Ensuring the safety of patients and medical carers

Much needs to be safeguarded in healthcare. One aspect concerns the safety of the patients themselves. Equally important is the safety of those who operate the systems used to diagnose...

Issue 08/2011


Fuel cell technologies are developing rapidly and their use is spreading

From buses and aeroplanes to robots and medical equipment such as wheelchairs, new commercial applications are constantly being developed. Although fuel cell power systems are still...

Issue 08/2011

What's cooking?

Kitchen aids measure up

The ability to measure the performance of electric cooking ranges, hobs, ovens and grills designed for household use is essential for producers, as low power consumption represents a...

Issue 08/2011

All-weather shelters

Protecting electric installations from the weather and other hazards

Safeguarding outdoor electrical installations from the weather and other potential environmental or accidental hazards is essential for their proper operation as well as for safety....

Issue 08/2011


Safe and efficient electric tools

For gardening and DIY (do-it-yourself), many of us use electric tools in and around the home. We expect not only that they will do the job at hand but also that they will work safely...

Issue 08/2011

Moving billions every day

Shifting the load: Energy-efficient elevators and escalators

Elevators, escalators and moving walkways carry billions of people each day. This form of transport is used by a number equivalent to the population of the entire world at least every...

Issue 08/2011

Sensors everywhere

Impulses that help us control our environment

A sensor is a device that responds to a physical stimulus such as heat, light, sound, pressure, magnetism or motion and transmits an impulse that is used to generate an action, such as...

Issue 08/2011

Robots at your service!

An army on the move to decontaminate, heal and clean!

Service robots are proving increasingly valuable. They help deal with the consequences of industrial or natural disasters and other dangerous situations. They have opened up many...

Issue 08/2011

Getting in and out

Access versus accessibility

Access to a great number of places is, today, largely controlled by machines. Gone are the days when the smiling man was there at the entry point to provide access or to lift the...

Issue 08/2011

A study under natural sunlight

Providing comprehensive rating information for photovoltaic modules

A study by Arizona State University Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (PRL) based on IEC 61853-1 provides insights into the difficulty of assessing photovoltaic performance testing....

Issue 07/2011

George Devol: Father of industrial robots

George Devol (1912-2011): Father of industrial robotics and tireless inventor

George Devol, the man who has been called the father, grandfather and even great grandfather of industrial robotics and who died on 11 August 2011 at the age of 99, filed his last...

Issue 06/2011

Chinese industry and automation

IEC Experts share knowledge at 10th annual forum

Following the IEC TC 65: Industrial-process measurement control and automation plenary meeting in Seoul, South Korea, several of the TC officers were invited by ITEI (the...

Issue 05/2011

Helping harness solar power

IEC Technical Committee works on solar photovoltaic energy systems

As solar power is set to occupy a growing share of the future global energy mix, PV (photovoltaic) energy generation has been expanding dramatically in recent years. IEC TC (Technical...

Issue 05/2011

Moving billions up and down every day

Moving people around and saving energy in commercial buildings

Elevators and escalators belong to the daily lives of billions of people. The equivalent of the world's population travels in elevators, escalators and moving walkways at least every...

Issue 04/2011

Improving energy efficiency in the home

Measurement of standby power

Standby power, the electricity used by appliances and equipment while they are in a standby mode or even when they are switched off in some cases, makes up a significant share of the...

Issue 04/2011

Let the sun shine

New Technical Committee on Solar Thermal Electric plants established

After more than two decades of testing, the generation of electricity from STE (Solar Thermal Electric) plants is moving from a research phase to industrial deployment. International...

Issue 03/2011

Plug them in, move them on!

IEC work on International Standards for EV charging

Electrification is essential for the long-term sustainability of individual transportation. Manufacturers are now offering a wide choice of EVs (electric vehicles). Some of these,...

Issue 03/2011

Go East, Young Man!

IEC TC 9 50th meeting in China highlights growing importance of Asia in TC work

In the electrotechnical domain, the importance industries or countries attach to a particular sector are good pointers to their actual participation in the work of IEC TCs (Technical...

Issue 03/2011

Updating Smart Grid methodology

Experts from industry, utilities and regional standards organizations from 13 countries attended an IEC international workshop

An international workshop was organized in Paris, France, on 8-9 March by IEC TC (Technical Committee) 8: Systems aspects for electrical energy supply. The purpose was to debate Smart...

Issue 01/2011


Bookmark your library – digitized text in hand

The e-book and its tablet form have come a long way since the first digital devices were announced. The original models were greeted with a fair amount of skepticism. There was doubt...

Issue 01/2011

High voltage

Safer electrical power installations

IEC TC 99 recently issued a new version of a key electrical power publication, IEC 61936-1, Power installations exceeding 1 kV a.c. – Part 1: Common rules. The standard provides...