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January 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, 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.

January 2017

Hearing lots of voices?

AI takes connected devices to the next level

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.

January 2017

Tech trends 2017

Insights and predictions by Shawn DuBravac, chief economist, CEA

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.

January 2017

Where does the real world end?

Blurring the lines

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).

2016
November 2016

Moving from the core to the edge

Scaling to support the Internet of Things’ trillions of sensors and billions of systems

The IEC has initiated a White Paper dedicated to Vertical Edge Intelligence in cooperation with Fraunhofer Institute’s FOKUS NGNI

October 2016

Smart Cities for the golden years

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

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

October 2016

Rapid growth in home use of medical devices requires new standards

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

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

October 2016

Sensor networks, wearable printed electronics and AAL

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

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

August 2016

Share your work

We need your stories

Take the 169 countries in the IEC family, the 20 000 technical experts who work in standards development, the many Certification Bodies (CBs) and Test Laboratories (TLs) in the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, and add to the mix the rapid pace at which technologies are evolving today and you have hundreds, if not thousands of stories that can be told within the IEC community. 

August 2016

Innovative technology cleans up transport on land and at sea

Driverless vehicles – soon a reality or just a dream?

Authorities worldwide face the challenge of ensuring improved road safety and providing efficient transport systems to address congested roads and pollution in growing cities. They are also tasked with providing large aging populations and people with disabilities greater mobility.

August 2016

New ways of seeing, working and doing business

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

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

August 2016

Technology is revolutionizing the way we deliver healthcare

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

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

August 2016

A giant network

Smart technologies rely on IECQ for safe and reliable electronic components

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. 

June 2016

Enter the new sports world

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

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

June 2016

Weaving technology into smart textiles

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

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

June 2016

Faster, higher, stronger

Olympic sports and the consumer market

Many innovations deployed on the global stage at the 2016 Olympics will find their way into the next generation of smart sports and fitness devices aimed at the consumer market, especially wearable technologies. This sector is enjoying very rapid growth, reflecting underlying trends in technology development and uptake. Improvements in activity trackers have accelerated the trend of moving beyond wearables that monitor just a few vital biometric signs, like heart rate or calories burned, to tools tracking activities specific to particular sports.

June 2016

Electrical and electronic systems behind every sports event

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

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

June 2016

A lifetime experience wherever you are

Smart technology is changing the game for major sports events

Long gone are the days when you had to be home and in front of your television to watch major sports events such as the Olympics or a football championship. Today you have access to broadcast on your computer, tablet or smartphone, and you can even experience virtual reality (VR).

May 2016

Blending the real and virtual worlds

Industry is increasingly using VR/AR applications creatively

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.

May 2016

Experiencing life like never before

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

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

May 2016

A wealth of information at your fingertips

AR makes you see the world as never before

Augmented reality (AR) may not have developed its full potential yet but the technology evolves at such a rapid pace that it should soon be integrated in our personal and professional environment. Architecture, education, medical, sports and entertainment, workplace are just a few areas that can benefit from AR. Tourism and sightseeing may also be revolutionized by the use of AR.

May 2016

AR/VR underground

New technologies bring increased safety levels to miners

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), long associated with gaming and entertainment only, are really developing into essential tools for a number of industry sector: healthcare, education, architecture, urban design and civil engineering, tourism, sports viewing, film and so forth. The explosive (Ex) industry is also beginning to see the advantages of using AR/VR in their daily operations. The mining sector in particular has a lot to gain from adopting these new technologies.

April 2016

Going the last mile with robots

Significant changes ahead in retail markets and delivery services

From robots delivering small packages in cities, to driverless trucks transporting bulk loads over long distances, advances in robotic delivery in the next decade will lead to significant changes in retail markets, the freight haulage industry and transport in general.

March 2016

Sensors everywhere

Sensors are rapidly being integrated in healthcare and hazardous environment applications

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

March 2016

New openings for surgical robots

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

Robotic‑assisted surgery involves a surgeon using a computer‑assisted electromechanical device to carry out complex and technically demanding medical procedures on a patient. The value of surgical robotic tools lies in their role as machines that extend the capabilities and precision of the surgeon, rather than ones that replace human skills. 

January 2016

Tech trends 2016

Insights and predictions by Shawn DuBravac, chief economist. CEA

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

January 2016

The wearable future

Keeping track of ourselves

In our mobile world, we carry our lives in our portable devices and expect to be able to access information anytime, anywhere. On a train, in a shop, out walking, we surf the net, communicate through social media and messaging and listen to music on our smart phones. We have also entered the age of continual self-monitoring, be it the number of steps we take, our heart rate, glucose levels or sleeping patterns, because it can help improve our lives and just because we can.

January 2016

Monitoring frenzy

24/7 connections: how to ensure that measurements are accurate

Is there a time of day or night when we do not rely on electrical or electronic devices in one way or another? Home and workplace are obviously full of appliances, devices and equipment that help us in our daily professional tasks and domestic chores. And with the ever growing number of wearables with us at all times, everything’s connected. Our reliance on electronics seems to be a 24/7 affair.

2015
November 2015

Keeping smart homes safe and secure

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

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

November 2015

Taking good care

Safety and security measures keep on being heightened to ensure utmost protection at any given moment

In our post-9/11 world, safety and security have been top priorities. We want safety and security at all times. From applications on our smartphones to complex electrical and electronic security systems in airports, from the baby monitors we install in our homes to state-of-the-art access controls in industrial plants, we try to cover and protect all aspects of our lives. But threats are still there, lurking and ready to pounce when we least expect it.

October 2015

New perspectives for drones

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

The drone as we know it today began life in the 1800s and was originally used for target practice to train military personnel. Now, they are increasingly available for less than USD 1 000 in the consumer market, and their potential development in commercial and leisure applications is slowly replacing the public perception of their use as tools for military operations abroad.

October 2015

Electricity drives everything

Message from Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary & CEO

IEC work continues to grow in importance. Today, electricity drives everything. It is unseen but indispensable. So normal that many of us never think about it.

October 2015

Shedding a light on IECQ

How to make electronics smart, safe and reliable

Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Energy and Smart everything…None of these would be remotely possible without electronics. Sensors in particular are present everywhere and they have a major impact on our home and work environments.

September 2015

IoT to make buildings and cities "smarter"

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

As smart commercial buildings become incorporated into the wider energy control networks of smart cities and linked to other aspects such as transport, water and air quality, the increasing intelligence and automation of buildings will play a key role in the smart cities of the future.

September 2015

Safety inside out

How to ensure safer commercial and office environments through IECQ certification

Electronics are everywhere in commercial and office buildings. Elevators, escalators, automatic sliding doors or lighting all rely heavily on electronics nowadays. The same can be said of most of the smaller devices that equip stores and offices. While safety is an important issue for any electronic device, it is becoming crucial for equipment that is used by hundreds, if not thousands, of people every day.

June 2015

Faster connections

How to ensure high quality and reliability of fibre optic components

Fibre optic lines have revolutionized communications, from long-distance phone calls to cable TV and Internet. Business and industry have used fibre optic technology for years to move large amounts of data quickly. Fibre-based communication is expected to grow tremendously in years to come.

May 2015

Smart oil and gas

Ex-tremely safe Big Data

Big Data is set to change the way we work by improving operations and allowing faster, more accurate analyses which lead to more informed decisions being made. Confident decision-making could in turn lead to greater efficiency, reduced risks and cost savings. While the oil and gas sector hasn’t really embraced the concept yet, it could derive huge benefit from it.

May 2015

Sensored all the way

How to make sure devices and systems are smart and safe

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.

January 2015

Multimedia and consumer electronics

The world is a giant network connecting everyone and everything

The focus of the January/February edition of IEC e-tech is on multimedia and consumer electronics.

2014
December 2014

Lights, sensors, game on

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

Experiencing sporting events live in outdoor or indoor installations is a unique experience. In addition to suitable lighting that has made it possible to hold sporting events both indoors and at night, sports venues have seen the introduction of a variety of electrical and electronic installations that benefit followers by providing a safer environment in which they can enjoy their favourite games and events.

April 2014

Health-giving robots

The quality of IECQ Certification helps advance the health sector

The vision of the future sees robots doing a number of things that humans don’t want to do, such as vacuuming. Though the use of artificial intelligence is not yet widespread, robots are moving into sectors that seemed unlikely even a decade ago; for example, assisting in surgical procedures. IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, helps to ensure the reliability of components used in any robots that care for us.

2013
August 2013

Walking through history

Sensors let us walk through museums safely

The Louvre, one of the largest museums in the world, is a grand sight to behold. Its front entrance, a glass pyramid built in the late 1980s, is imposing in its size and shine. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres. Around 9 million visits are made to the Louvre every year.

June 2013

MEMS tested and certified by IECQ

Little components do more and are smaller

In thousands of ways, new and smaller technologies are helping us move forward. From surgical tools that are smarter to toys that let us compete at playing tennis with someone around the world, electronics and their components are doing more than ever before.

May 2013

Hearts are not meant to be broken

IECQ components help to advance artificial hearts

The heart has been a symbol of human emotion and complexity since before Common Era. The ancient Egyptians believed that the heart ruled the way people thought, their wisdom and who they were. The ancient Greeks thought that it was the heart, and not the brain, that controlled logic and emotion. It was in the Middle Ages, when Valentine’s Day gained popularity, that the concept of romantic love became associated with the broken heart.

2012
June 2012

Can't do without them

IECQ-certified electronic components for consumer electronics

In countless ways, modern day technologies have changed the way we live. The emergence and extraordinary success of small mobile devices has increased our reliance on electronics at all times of day – and night. Whatever we do, wherever we are, we rely on them for communication, connecting with others – whether at work or at home – travelling, playing and keeping fit.

March 2012

Extremely reliable and incredibly safe

Safe sensors for safe devices through IEC Certification

We don’t see them, most of us don’t even know what they look like, but we are all dependent on them. They make life easier and safer. Modern technologies couldn’t do without them. In short, sensors are indispensable.

2011
July 2011

Robotics for electronics

Use of robots in electronics assembly lines accelerates fast

There are all types of robots loaded with electrotechnology and the electronics and semiconductor industries are relying increasingly on robotics for their product assembly processes. According to data compiled by the US Robotic Industries Association, the volume of robot sales to the electronics and semiconductor industry rose by nearly two-thirds during the first quarter of 2011.