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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.
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.
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.
Around the world, urban populations are booming. An estimated 54.5 percent of global populations lived in urban settlements in 2016 and this number is expected to increase to 60 by 2030, according to research by the United Nations.
IEC TC 117: Solar thermal electric plants, publishes its first two Technical Specifications (TS) on solar radiation data sets.
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.
As urban areas continue to grow, city planners face many challenges. In order to build the complex, compatible infrastructures required to achieve smarter and more sustainable environments, many stakeholders including standards development organizations (SDOs), will have to work together.
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.
The leading renewable source for electricity generation globally is hydropower. In 2016, it generated 16.4% of the world's electricity, reaching 1,064 GW of installed capacity, and supplied 71% of all renewable electricity, according to a report by the World Energy Council.
Alicja Haras, Secretary of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 27: Industrial electroheating and electromagnetic processing, looks back at the TC’s history.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
Today, electrical and electronic devices are the largest category of goods traded in the world, representing 17,7% of total trade value in 2015, according to UN Comtrade statistics. This doesn’t include lighting, photographic devices, aircraft and trains. IEC publishes the majority of International Standards for these devices and systems and around 80% of all European electrotechnical standards are identical to or based on IEC International Standards.
Traditionally, women have not been encouraged to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As a result, a low number has made it into this field. Standards are meant to improve the safety and quality of products and services used by everyone. However, to achieve this, they must include the significant physiological differences between men and women and their potential impact in daily situations.
During his address to Council, IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk highlighted the main achievements since Minsk and talked about important ongoing projects.
From home heating systems, smart medical devices and fridges that automatically replenish food items, to connected cars that guide drivers to free parking spots, increasingly IoT is a part of our daily lives. However, this technology is not new. Industrial applications, power generation, digitization, connectivity and automation have been around for many years and IEC has been working in these areas for some time.
On the way to the COP21 climate talks in Paris, Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong made a stop at the IEC in Geneva. During the meeting the idea surfaced to sign an MoU to simplify the development of a carbon-free infrastructure for the Korean island, notably with the help of IEC International Standards.
On 30 and 31 March 2016, the first International Conference on Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) took place in Beijing, China. The event was initiated by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Edison Institute and Caring for Climate (C4C), and co-organized among others with the IEC. Dr Shu, IEC Vice President and President of SGCC, and Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary & CEO, both presented how such a vision can be brought to reality, to an audience of more than 500 people.
A conference entitled ‘Using and referencing International Standards to support public policy’, was organized by IEC, ISO and UNECE at the United Nations, Geneva, in November. The attending 175 participants heard how International Standards help to support public policy and enable resilient world trade, policymaking, electrical energy efficiency, safety in the food and medical devices industries, as well as contribute significantly towards disaster risk reduction and sustainable development goals. Here are some of the highlights.
Hundreds of standards for Renewable Energy technology are now accessible in one easy-to-use platform.
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 developed specifically to ensure medical electrical equipment and systems are safe to operate, for the well-being of patients and users alike.
The IEC regularly lends its support to key global and regional industry events allowing them to put forward IEC endorsement on their website and materials. We would like to draw your attention to several events that may be of interest to the IEC community.
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.
Healthcare is undergoing nothing short of a revolution with key advances in long-established technologies and major development in new areas which all depend on electrotechnology.
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 Grid use cases to build up requirements from existing practices.
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 Committees). The growing contribution of participants from the Asia-Pacific region in IEC TC 9: Electrical equipment and systems for railways, is a perfect example of this.