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Issue 06/2017

In the home stretch

Wearables are getting increasingly stretchable, small and smart

From smart clothes to talking cows: the IEC prepares Standards for the latest wearable applications.

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 tracking collar and household appliances, to health monitoring wearables and smart systems in buildings and transport, the list is endless.

Issue 06/2017

Share your work

We’d like to hear and read your stories

Take the 170 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.

Issue 05/2017

Omnipresent printed electronics

From niche to mass market in a few years

A decade ago, printed electronics was still very much a budding technology destined to a niche market. The emergence and rapid growth of connected devices such as smartphones, tablets and wearables have boosted the internet of things (IoT) and offered new avenues of development to the printed electronics sector.

Issue 05/2017

Self-powering the internet of things

Harnessing ambient energy sources is critical to the rollout of the internet of things in industry

The rapidly growing number of connected devices that form the backbone of the internet of things must become self-powered. The US research and advisory company Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 8,4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31% from 2016, and will reach 20,4 billion by 2020. Powering these with batteries or by connecting them to power networks would be totally impractical, even impossible.

Issue 05/2017

Green connections

How to manage hazardous substances in 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, or soon will be. Cities, buildings, homes, farms, industrial plants, transportation, appliances, wearables and mobile devices are intrinsically linked to our way of life.

Issue 05/2017

Securing critical infrastructure all the way to the top

Protecting myriad connected devices will require a holistic approach to security risks

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. 

Issue 05/2017

Wear your health on your sleeve

Medical wearables push for innovation

New flexible and organic printing technologies are revolutionizing the medical wearable device market and the IEC is establishing the key relevant International Standards.

Issue 05/2017

Shedding light on IEC standardization

IEC presents at international lighting and facility management event in Australia

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.

Issue 05/2017

Connecting the printed electronics and wearables communities

Wearable devices will benefit from advances in printed electronics technologies

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.

Issue 03/2017

Upcoming global events (April-June 2017)

On the agenda: Live maintenance, cybersecurity, fuel cells and batteries, energy storage, emerging technologies, digital utilities, LVDC, IoT and more

The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.

Issue 04/2017

Texting cows and talking fields

The Internet of agriculture is flourishing

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.

Issue 03/2017

Biometrics for consumer markets

Electronic DNA facilitates vehicle access and security

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.

Issue 02/2017

Independence means everything

Assistive technologies help tackle the challenges posed by ageing and disabilities

What immediately comes to mind when evoking active assisted living (AAL) is that it is essential in helping senior citizens keep as good a quality of life as possible. The focus is obviously on the elderly in industrialized countries where the population is ageing rapidly. But AAL represents more than that – it is meant for all people who suffer from illnesses or physical, mental and social disabilities. The general concept is to ensure that they live their life independently and comfortably in their own environment for as long as they can manage.

Issue 02/2017

Relying on AAL for a better life

Systems provide assistance to ageing population aspiring to stay longer independent in their own homes

Keeping individuals in need of certain levels of assistance active and living at home as independently and as long as possible is emerging as a major issue in many countries. This drives a significant growth in many alarm, access and remote alert systems. Standardization work from a number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and their Subcommittees (SCs) makes possible the development and widespread introduction of such systems.

Issue 02/2017

Upcoming global events (March-June 2017)

On the agenda: Smart Grids, metering, IECEx, cyber security, energy storage, emerging technologies, digital utilities, LVDC, IoT and solar PV

The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.

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 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.

2016
Issue 06/2016

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. 

Issue 05/2016

Front row seats

Enjoy the Olympic Games and the 2016 Euro championship as never before

This year is rich in world sports events. The Euro 2016 championship will see 24 football teams compete for the European Champion title from 10 June to 10 July. A month later, from 5 to 21 August, Rio de Janeiro will welcome the Olympic Games. Viewed by millions around the world, these competitions will offer spectacular and emotional moments for athletes and spectators alike.

Issue 05/2016

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.

Issue 02/2016

Relying on healthcare wearables

IECQ meets all requirements for safe, green electronic components

The doctor-patient relationship has evolved tremendously in the past decade or so. There was a time when any medical exam had to be performed at a hospital or a doctor’s practice. The recent and rapid emergence of home healthcare technologies is slowly changing the whole medical landscape.

Issue 01/2016

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.

Issue 01/2016

Printed electronics

The challenge of Systems Integration

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).

2015
Issue 06/2015

Medical biometrics improve patients' care

How the healthcare sector benefits from advances in medical biometrics

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.

Issue 01/2015

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
Issue 03/2014

The healthcare revolution

State-of-the-art technological developments open up new perspectives

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.