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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 smart phone as a ubiquitous interface. The sensorization and digitalization 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.
We are all familiar with remote controls. We use them to change TV channels, select our favourite music and protect ourselves with sophisticated security systems. Still, more appliances and systems in our homes work by using automated electronic controls.
In hundreds of smart city projects around the world, governments, municipalities and private stakeholders are investing in smart grids, open data platforms and networked transport systems to meet the challenges of environmental sustainability, population growth and urbanization.
The IEC has initiated a White Paper dedicated to Vertical Edge Intelligence in cooperation with Fraunhofer Institute’s FOKUS NGNI
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 Economies. During the IEC 2016 General Meeting (GM) in Frankfurt, SEG 4 Convenor, Vimal Mahendru, presented a final report to the Standardization Management Board (SMB). The SMB voted in favour of the proposal to set up a Systems Committee (SyC) for LVDC and LVDC for electricity access.
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.
One of the emerging trends of the 21st century is the ageing of the world population.
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.
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.
Smart and connectivity are two of the words that probably best describe our society in the 21st century. Everyone and everything is connected nowadays. Cities, buildings, transportation means, mobile devices are becoming smarter. Even the most mundane objects – the smart frying pan is a good example – have their connected version.
Authorities worldwide face the challenge of ensuring improved road safety and providing efficient transport systems to address congested roads and pollution in growing cities. They are also tasked with providing large aging populations and people with disabilities greater mobility.
Imagine swiping your car seat to change the radio station or heating temperature? How about a uniform which can detect chemical contamination, a tent which generates electricity or a lamp shade which reacts to light and temperature?
The decreasing cost of electronic devices and growing access to mobile technology and wireless networks are driving the expansion of the digital economy. Integrating biosensors into this mix could bring great benefits for medical care and for increasing safety in hazardous environments. IEC standardization work will have an important role to play in these developments.
Electricity and electronics are increasingly in everything, even in devices that were purely mechanical before. Not only individual products, but whole companies need to be able to work with each other to come up with technology solutions for increasingly large systems. In his address to Council Nomura sent a strong message: IEC National Committees (NCs) have a key role to play in promoting IEC work. They are the IEC! More than ever, NCs need to represent all national stakeholders and send the right experts to participate in IEC work at the global level.
Connected safety and security systems and devices with remote monitoring capabilities are expanding their share of the global smart home market. A survey in the UK in July 2015 identified security as the second most important of five key drivers for the connected home, after smart energy. The BI Intelligence research company estimates that by 2019 home security systems will account for 38% of the connected home market.
As smart commercial buildings become incorporated into the wider energy control networks of smart cities and linked to other aspects such as transport, water and air quality, the increasing intelligence and automation of buildings will play a key role in the smart cities of the future.
There is a rapidly increasing range of applications using energy harvesting (EH), the process of collecting low-grade energy from sources such as ambient or waste heat, solar, thermal and kinetic energy and converting it into electrical energy. The increase is driven by the need to enable an ever expanding range of sensors to run and communicate independent of an external power source and by the need to meet the power requirements of a wide variety of mobile and wearable devices. It is seen as one of the main techniques that will allow the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop.
The May issue of e-tech focuses on manufacturing and Big Data.
Sensors: they are invisible, most people don’t even know what they look like, but they are omnipresent today. They have a major impact on our home and work environments and are making our lives much safer and easier in many ways.
The IEC MSB (Market Strategy Board) helps identify what areas the IEC should focus on in the future through the identification of key technological trends and market needs. It publishes recommendations in the form of White Papers. Three new IEC White Papers focus on Smart Cities, the Internet of Things and Microgrids for disaster preparedness and recovery.