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Nearly every aspect of our lives bears the imprint of smart technology. From home thermostats controlled via a smart phone to watches that monitor our health, the number of traditional devices that are becoming connected is increasing. This enables us to benefit from new service offerings.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the big buzz words in the tech industry. From robots to self-driving cars, digital twins and medical diagnosis, AI promises to deliver innovation on the scale of the discovery of fire and electricity, as one Silicon Valley chief executive officer (CEO) has put it. While it is not yet clear if this is truth or hyperbole, technical advances are coming rapidly.
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.
Every year IEC honours the commitment and work of a number of individuals in its community who, through their leadership and technical expertise, have contributed to making products and electrical systems safer, more energy efficient, more reliable and more compatible.
Technology for underwater applications, such as drones, uses underwater acoustic sensor networks (UWASNs) to survey and collect environmental data, and monitor pollution, for instance pipeline leakages. They are also used for surveillance and disaster prevention and recovery.
Innovation brings new challenges – or, put another way, every silver lining has a cloud. While the Internet has given us connected, smart and interactive technologies, it has also spawned the murky, underground world of cyber crime.
Women’s contributions to science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) have often been overlooked and left out of history books. When asked to name inventors, people tend to cite Thomas Edison, Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin or Albert Einstein. Gender stereotypes die hard. Some women were fortunate enough to have their work recognized during their lifetime; many others received only posthumous recognition. This has changed in recent years and light is finally being shed on their essential work.
Technology has made it easier and quicker to perform many daily activities. Not only do we rely on it, it has brought massive changes to our lives.
The new film Ready Player One provides a glimpse into a futuristic concept of immersive virtual reality. Set in 2045, the movie tells the story of a hidden game within a connected and interactive virtual reality platform in which characters can meet to escape from the hardship of their real-life city slums. While this may not be our experience yet, it is not far removed from the visions of the first pioneers in virtual reality.
As we move towards more connected environments, cyber security threats are increasing. One technology that could help with data protection is blockchain, which is also starting to be used in some renewable energy projects.
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 without it. Artificial intelligence (AI) presents the next digital frontier of the IT evolution.
Imagine using the millions of kilometres of paved roads around the world to harvest energy. Apart from the initial investment costs required for equipment and installation, this energy source is free to produce and has no adverse effect on the environment. Instead, it uses sunlight or the mechanical vibrations produced by vehicles to generate electrical energy.
New technology is revolutionizing the way we will consider transport in the near future. Flying cars are one of the options on the cards and a number of IEC Standards can help the various industries involved.
When the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, on 25 May, it will have a humongous impact on web properties all over the world. It will affect all organizations, wherever they keep their servers, if they provide EU citizens with any kind of information, content or service online.
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 simplify how we work, communicate and carry out daily tasks.
IHS Markit predicts that more than 70 million connected cars will be on the road by 2023. Connected cars enable drivers to receive updated traffic information, send messages or access personalized entertainment systems, but they are also vulnerable to sabotage.
Railways and metro systems have been the subject of a spate of cyber attacks in recent years. Although no major accidents or casualties have been reported so far, it is likely that the problem will get worse and affect safety. As train signalling and control systems move from what were essentially closed systems to open ones based on mobile communication and IP (internet protocol) technologies, cyber security becomes ever more important. IEC International Standards will play a major role in this sector.
The internet of things (IoT) – consisting of millions of “sensorized” connected devices and systems – and artificial intelligence (AI) – combining analytics, machine learning and algorithms – are making the world smarter and more connected.
Last October, the US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded an Emmy for outstanding achievement in engineering to the expert group responsible for ‘High Efficiency Video Coding’, the video compression standard that has emerged as the primary coding format for Ultra-High Definition (UHD) TV.
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 facilitate everyday activities and tasks and improve the efficiency of work processes, which saves time and money. In the case of healthcare, it can save lives and improve quality of life.
Over the past few months, the Standardization Management Board (SMB) nominated several new Chairs for different IEC technical committees (TCs).
In recent years broadcasters and multimedia companies have come under sustained cyber attacks aimed for a variety of reasons at damaging their physical assets and pilfering their content. Broadcast and multimedia companies, content providers, vendors and trade organizations are coming together now to tackle these threats. IEC Standards play a central role in their efforts to achieve this.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) was one of the big buzzwords at CES 2018. From home appliances to robots and self-driving cars, AI is able to help us with our everyday activities. While an interest in intelligent machines can be traced back to Greek mythology, recent advances in computing that enable us to collect large quantities of data and then process it using algorithms, have hastened the development of AI technologies.
Early on each New Year, technology companies gather in Las Vegas for the annual CES show. The 2018 edition brought together 3900 exhibitors displaying their latest developments. Analysts from the show organizer, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), provided an overview of the major trends to follow this year.
The Open Session of the 81st IEC General Meeting in Vladivostok focused on the geographical and climatic features that influence the requirements and reliability of electrical and electronic devices as well as on the technologies used in the transportation of people and goods within the Russian Federation.
The ubiquitous internet of things (IoT) comprises billions of "sensorized" and connected devices and systems, which are used in many industries, including agriculture, energy management, healthcare, industrial automation, smart buildings, smart cities and transport.
Our lives, work, and the way we take care of our health continue to evolve. The internet of things (IoT) and smart technology have disrupted industries as diverse as agriculture, construction, healthcare and industrial automation. They are already having an impact on the pet industry and how we treat domesticated animals.
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, as ISO/IEC JTC 1 celebrates its 30-year anniversary, experts from 33 countries continue to contribute to the standardization activities of its 22 subcommittees (SCs), which have already produced more than 3 000 International Standards.
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 Standards and manages conformity assessment systems for electric and electronic products, systems and services, collectively known as electrotechnology.
Cyber attacks on civil nuclear power plants (NPPs) would have devastating consequences for a country relying, even in part, on nuclear energy. It could affect the entire power network, might cause the release of radioactive material and would have a highly adverse impact on public opinion. A Subcommittee (SC) of the IEC is developing International Standards that reinforce the cyber resilience of NPPs.
Using new technology and gadgets to help the elderly and people with disabilities stay independent in and outside the home is the approach favoured by most health specialists, not to mention policymakers and governments. The IEC is preparing International Standards focusing on this approach under the global aegis of its Systems Committee on active assisted living (SyC AAL).
Vehicle makers, telecoms operators and local authorities are planning our future means of transport in big cities, with the help of some key IEC Standards. Self-driving tractors and agribots are changing agriculture in the countryside as well.
Modern virtual reality (VR) technology has its origins in the military, and later gaming industries. Many sectors use VR applications to improve business and enhance workplace safety. Some examples include aerospace, advertising, automotive, broadcasting, construction, entertainment, medical, retail and tourism.
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 tracking collar and household appliances, to health monitoring wearables and smart systems in buildings and transport, the list is endless.
Standardization work by the IEC technical committees (TCs) and subcommittees (SCs), and by the Joint Technical Committee (ISO/IEC JTC 1) set up by the IEC and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), is meant to prevent and mitigate the catastrophic impact of cyber attacks on parts of the critical infrastructure everywhere. In addition, IECEE, the IEC System for Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, is working on a generic conformity assessment (CA) model which can be applied to cyber security.
Natural and industrial or accidental disasters can take many forms and have devastating human and material consequences. Some may be prevented or their impact mitigated through forecast, others not. Rescuing victims and repairing damage are essential for a return to normal life. Standardization work by a number of IEC technical committees (TCs) and subcommittees (SCs) may help warn of impending disasters as well as aid in assessing, repairing and mitigating their consequences.
New flexible and organic printing technologies are revolutionizing the medical wearable device market and the IEC is establishing the key relevant International Standards.
The sparc-FMA International Lighting and Facilities event, organized by the Facility Management Association (FMA) took place from 30 May to 1 June, in Sydney. During the event, more than 60 exhibitors, including lighting manufacturers, suppliers and service providers, showcased the latest innovations in the two industries.
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 layer by layer. Recently, it has been used increasingly to include a broader set of additive manufacturing techniques, such as directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination and photopolymerization.
As more and more objects are connected, communicate and interact with each other, in what is labelled the internet of things (IoT), they become building blocks in larger systems. Known and unknown vulnerabilities in this wealth of objects are bound to attract cyber attacks that can bring down entire critical installations in many countries. Protection of IoT components against cyber threats, as well as of the systems that integrate them, is fast becoming a key priority.
Printed electronics as a manufacturing method has become established in a number of areas across the electrotechnical world. The connections that are made are emerging as particularly significant in the new generation of wearable electronic devices. Although some wearable applications can be realized using wholly conventional rigid electronics, many will require some element of flexibility. Standardization work by a number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and subcommittees (SCs) is central to this development.
Virtual reality (VR) applications are improving the workplace of diverse industries. From construction, military and mining, to training first responders, practising complex surgery, or enhancing classroom learning, the list of VR solutions being developed continues to grow.
Since the mid-18th century, manufacturing has been affected by technical innovations that have led to the gradual replacement of many craft-based activities by mechanized and automated processes. From weaving to the mass production of automobiles and consumer goods and the introduction of information technology (IT) in manufacturing, these processes have had an influence on all areas of life. The emergence of 3D printing is the latest in a long line of disruptive technologies to make its mark on manufacturing.
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 buildings, while millions of documents and photos are stored on the cloud.
Want a weather update, real-time air pollution status, or are you just trying to find that elusive parking space? It’s simple…ask the lamppost!
Automotive giants and telecoms outfits must work together to make way for the connected car but they have opposing views of how it should come about. One of the friction points is cyber security. The IEC is working with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on standards addressing this issue.
Fingerprint, palm, iris, voice, facial and gesture recognition will aid advances in driver-assistance systems and vehicle security. Incorporating cloud analytics will generate useful information and allow notifications to be sent during emergencies.
In the next decade, cars will be well on the way to, or have reached the goal of becoming fully self-driving. As the industry continues to develop new levels of autonomous vehicles, the whole notion of personal transport is being turned on its head.
Recovering energy can offer attractive solutions for providing additional power to motor vehicles at the same time as cutting their fuel consumption and emissions. They rely on a number of systems that recover thermal, kinetic, or other forms of energy (such as solar) that would either be lost or not used in vehicles.
Critical infrastructure systems are being increasingly targeted by sophisticated cyber attacks. A session of the annual Future Networked Car symposium, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the fringe of the Geneva Motor Show, looked at measures aimed at Mitigating cyber security threats to automotive systems. A wide range of speakers took part, including government representatives, car and accessory manufacturers, automotive cyber security solutions developers and providers.
Imagine getting a text from a cow which is about to calve or from a field to say it needs watering, while drones, smart machinery and mini ‘agribots’ tend to your crops. This scenario may not be too far away. Discover more about robotics in agriculture in the e-tech article, Farming (r)evolution.
Virtual reality (VR) is being used across many industries to improve business and enhance workplace safety. The industries include aerospace, advertising, automotive, construction, energy, defence, medical, mining and tourism. Increasingly, emergency services are using VR programmes to improve the disaster response and recovery performance of staff.
As we transition into a smarter world, more buildings are becoming connected to improve overall efficiency. They incorporate new technologies, which manage everything from lighting, heating and energy, to security systems. Many functions, processes and systems of intelligent buildings are entirely dependent on network infrastructure, which must run smoothly and above all be secure.
Protecting energy security and critical energy infrastructure against cyber attacks is fast emerging as an absolute priority. In mid-February, the EnergyPact Foundation organized an international conference in Vienna on cyber security aimed at protecting such infrastructure. Eyal Adar, an expert on cyber security, outlined the extent of IEC standardization and Conformity Assessment (CA) activities in the domain, giving details of the areas to which they apply.
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 interoperability in the use of AAL systems and services, and of fostering standardization which boosts their usability and accessibility. Its role and scope are constantly being expanded.
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, healthcare, industrial automation and retail environments. It comprises billions of connected, sensorized devices and systems which help to simplify work and personal tasks. As it grows, the different systems and platforms will need to be interoperable, which can be achieved through standardization.
In our smart world, a huge number of devices are part of the internet of things (IoT), or becoming so, many of them integrated with our homes, cities, manufacturing or transport systems and infrastructures. Added to this, a growing number of connected consumer devices, appliances and systems are able to carry out many human daily tasks in the home or workplace, whether for healthcare or entertainment. Research by Gartner forecasts the number of connected things will reach 20,8 billion by 2020, of which 13,5 billion will be from the consumer sector.
For the first time in history, voice recognition has reached a level close to human understanding. This opens up new opportunities, notably in replacing the smartphone as a ubiquitous interface. The sensorization and digitization trends of previous years are now leading to adaptive automation and highly-specialized applications that fundamentally transform the user experience. Last but not least augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are entering the real world of business.
Everyday activities, such as shopping, watching sport on TV or even the ways we work and learn are going to change profoundly in the coming years, as more industries, including education, use augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).
Achieving better Electrical Energy Efficiency (EEE) is a very broad task that extends well beyond the more efficient transformation of primary energy, chiefly fossil fuels, into electrical energy. It must be introduced in energy-intensive sectors like industry and buildings. Standardization work by numerous IEC Technical Committees (TCs) is central to this broader objective.
You simply can’t be too careful when it comes to information security. Protecting personal records and commercially sensitive information is critical. But how can you tell that your ISO/IEC 27001 information security management system (ISMS) is making a difference? A new ISO/IEC International Standard can help you out.
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 insights for everyone’s benefit.
Paralympians successfully overcome physical, visual and intellectual impairments, but their equipment can impact their performance.
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 on Disability states that currently more than one billion people live with some form of disability worldwide. The figure is expected to rise in the coming years as populations age.
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 (IoT), the “super-aging” of societies around the world (which is directly tied to patients wanting to be comfortable in their home environments instead of in sterile impersonal clinical environments), the portability of devices, the growth of wearable technologies, the increasing costs of healthcare and the huge regulatory burden/costs of obtaining approval by national regulators. Also, there has been significant growth in the number of standards and regulations that apply to medical devices, especially around software, health informatics, privacy and security issues.
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 support Active Assisted Living (AAL) into the future. Sensors and printed electronics will be increasingly integrated into smart wearable devices to facilitate the implementation of AAL.
Multimedia content, particularly on TV, and information technology and communication (ICT) services have become central to our lives. Access to these for people suffering from visual or hearing impairment is very important and is an internationally-recognized right. The IEC, together with other organizations, works to develop International Standards that allow this access, which is also central to what is known as Active Assisted Living (AAL).
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 interoperability in the use of AAL systems and services, and of fostering standardization which boosts their usability and accessibility.
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 worldwide International Standards for business and consumer applications in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), is increasingly crucial.
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 enhancing their products and services through innovative technology.
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 access to whatever information we need anytime and anywhere.
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 started transforming the electronics industry and many other domains. This new technology led to the creation, in 2011, of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 119.
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 to feel as if they were at the game without leaving the couch. From football, tennis and F1 racing, to basketball, golf, hockey and more, spectators can watch games literally from new angles.
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 images for work and leisure on our smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs, whose screen quality continues to improve. Additionally, virtual and augmented reality applications are being used by more industries, from broadcasting, sports, health and tourism, to manufacturing, marketing, real estate and construction. Their innovative, interactive features personalize the user’s experience and can improve safety and efficiency.
Major international sports events attract huge crowds and universal media coverage, as well as ill-intentioned individuals bent on wreaking havoc. As such they represent a major challenge for organizers and governments. This has been the case recently following a series of terrorist attacks in many countries. Security measures for these events and other mass gatherings depend on multi-layered security arrangements that include human and technical means. Many of the technical measures that underpin such arrangements depend on electronic devices and installations.
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 electronic equipment and systems. These make it possible to provide the best possible coverage on and off the venues and ensure high commercial returns for investors and sponsors.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology is all around us. Whether playing a mind-blowing game, training for surgery, enhancing classroom learning, or stepping inside a building that hasn’t yet been constructed to solve problems before they happen, diverse industry sectors are using VR/AR applications in creative ways. According to a report by Digi-Capital, a company advising AR/VR, mobile and games leaders in Asia, Europe and the US, AR/VR could hit USD 150 billion revenue by 2020, with AR accounting for USD 120 billion and VR for the remaining USD 30 billion.
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 new travel perspectives.
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 holding vessels and crews for ransom may be replaced by ones from cyberspace. Every day, many institutions, establishments and individuals are the targets of cyberattacks. While the maritime industry has yet to record a major cyber incident, it recognizes that it is only a matter of time before some of its assets are targeted. As a result, it is taking pre-emptive measures, which include the adoption of International Standards, to mitigate the possibility of cyberattacks and their potential impact.
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 internet-based businesses such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are pushing for more dedicated renewable energy to meet their specific needs, but systems efficiency can also make a major contribution to curbing energy use. Emerging standards have a key role to play.
Global authorities and industry agree that policy, regulations and International Standards must be established urgently so as to allow fully driverless vehicles and instil consumer confidence in them
Authorities around the world are under increasing pressure to provide transport networks which are safe, efficient and durable. Two of the biggest challenges faced are road safety and congestion, as well as managing the pollution that results from the latter. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global status report on road safety 2015 cites 1,25 million road deaths per year worldwide.
One of the most innovative transportation developments today is Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology. According to U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), CAV is defined as “operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking; and designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.”
Cyber-attacks are estimated to cost businesses between USD 400 and USD 500 billion a year, without counting the large number of attacks which go unreported [ ]. As cybercrime continues to rise, companies and CEOs are paying more attention to this threat – cyber-attacks can be damaging to corporate reputation and stock performance.
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 for asthma, lower back issues or a smart health patch which keeps tabs on a patient’s vitals? Some of these devices are being developed, while some are already in use.
Recent years have witnessed a rapidly growing volume of healthcare-related data being collected from a variety of sources that include patients’ records, and information provided through home monitoring or wearable smart devices.
Almost every day we hear reports of companies and organizations being targeted in cybercrimes.
With so much personal and sensitive information being handled electronically, there is a lot at stake if it is compromised.
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 technology (ICT) and other sectors. As copper cable technology has evolved to meet increased requirements and stay at the cutting edge of technology, IEC Technical Committee (TC) 46 and its Subcommittees (SCs) and various Working Groups (WGs) prepare and update Standards for RF cables, connectors and other components to ensure they remain effective and relevant for the industry.
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 standardization process. IEC Technical Committee (TC) 119: Printed electronics, is a relatively new Technical Committee, created to lead the standardization effort. However, like many new technologies, printed electronics cannot make the transition into industry in isolation. The IEC configuration of TCs and liaison structures is poised to help facilitate this transition. One field in which printed electronics could make a significant contribution is that of wearable smart devices (WSDs).
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 1987, JTC 1 currently has 20 Subcommittees (SCs), one Study Group and three Working Groups. It has published more than 2 800 Standards.
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 field of medical biometrics, however, is focused more on the collection of personal medical data and its use in diagnosis, research, and medical services development, rather than on security and identification.
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 people's minds as to its definition and characteristics, with many not even realizing they have been using cloud applications for years. It is seen as offering significant economic advantages as well as presenting a number of challenges and issues that need addressing. The IEC has started working on this in some areas.
Information security breaches represent a growing threat to businesses and organizations throughout the world, costing them vast amounts every year in stolen intellectual property and confidential data. The IEC and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) recently published the second edition of the ISO/IEC 27001 Standard, which will help organizations enhance their information security.
Fibre optics pioneer Judith M. Anderson passed away unexpectedly on 26 December 2010, following a fire in her residence in Washington, DC (District of Columbia), US (United States).