Technology Focussort by issue

Issue 02/2020

Understanding halogen use

The role of standards in defining halogenated materials*

Halogens are generally considered to be any of the group of five chemical elements of the periodic table consisting of fluorine (F), chlorine (CI), bromine (Br), iodine (I) and astatine...

Issue 02/2020

The Intelligence of Things

Artificial intelligence is changing the IoT

For many experts, the Internet of Things (IoT) will become the Intelligence of Things during the coming decade, improving and disrupting our lives in equal measure.

Issue 02/2020

Applying standards to the circular economy

Material efficiency during the product use and waste phases

The circular economy calls for a radical shift in production and consumption. Continual cycles recover and restore products, components and materials through strategies such as reuse,...

Issue 02/2020

Robots in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19

As the virus pandemic continues to spread across the world, hospitals are turning to technology to help treat patients and protect doctors and nurses in the process.

A recent article in Science Robotics suggests that robots could be effective resources in combating COVID-19. They can be used for disinfection, to deliver medicine and food and measure...

Issue 01/2020

CES technology trends for 2020

Insights and predictions based on presentations by CTA

e-tech was present at this year's Consumer Electronics Show which took place in Las Vegas from 7 to 10 January 2020.

Issue 01/2020

Brain power

Harnessing the electric power of the brain

The brain contains about 100 billion microscopic cells called neurons which together can generate enough electricity to power a low-wattage bulb. Scientists, researchers as well as...

Issue 01/2020

From healthcare to mining, RFID standards keep operations on track

Used to control inventory and track items in real time in logistics, retail and transportation, radio frequency identification (RFID) and barcode technologies improve inventory management, reduce checkout times in shops and improve safety.

Hospitals quickly locate equipment required for surgery to ensure it is clean, safe and ready for use. Intelligent sports balls can capture data which help players learn and improve...

Issue 06/2019

Protecting manufacturing from cyber attacks

Adopting a risk-based approach and erecting defence-in-depth architecture to ensure business continuity is the best way to protect the manufacturing sector and other critical infrastructure.

Half of the manufacturing companies that took part in a recent survey in the US admitted they had suffered a data breach or cyber attack in the previous 12 months. Unfortunately, such...

Issue 06/2019

A greener future for manufacturing

How industry can reduce its carbon emissions

Industry is becoming increasingly aware that it contributes to global warming by emitting greenhouse gases (GHG). It also produces waste that can be polluting for the environment and...

Issue 06/2019

Disruptive technologies and positive change

Artificial intelligence, ethics, digital transformation and international standards

This is an edited excerpt from a new OCEANIS (open community for ethics in autonomous and intelligent systems) think piece about the role of standards in developing...

Issue 05/2019

Building an age-friendly world

Medical technology is helping senior citizens to remain independent

From robots to wearables, various technology breakthroughs are helping the elderly population better cope with the many inconveniences associated with old age. IEC International...

Issue 05/2019

Mind games

Technology, based on standards, can help those living with mental disorders

The medical profession is resorting to virtual reality, telemedecine and artificial intelligence (AI) to treat mental illness. These technologies improve the access to patients and the...

Issue 04/2019

Computing: getting ready for the quantum leap

Standards experts are already exploring the potential of quantum computing to accelerate digital transformation

Engineers and scientists around the world are racing to build quantum computing devices capable of achieving quantum supremacy, which is broadly defined as solving problems that...

Issue 03/2019

Robots, AI and big data pave way for smart farming

Using them will help meet more environmentally-friendly nutritional needs

The introduction of robots, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data in agriculture marks the fourth phase in modern farming, the so-called Agriculture 4.0. It follows the first one,...

Issue 03/2019

Measuring human exposure to 5G

IEC is sharing best practices to ensure accurate assessments of electromagnetic fields for 5G network and device testing

5G is the latest generation of mobile network technology. It promises greater capacity, as well as significantly faster download speeds than the current 4G networks. It will mean...

Issue 02/2019

Recovering from disasters

IEC Standards provide the tools to enable countries to recover from disasters

From severe droughts to hurricanes and flooding, disasters appear more frequently and with a greater intensity than in the past. Recognizing the human and economic toll of these...

Issue 02/2019

Women still gotta fight!

Still a long way to go for women in tech fields

Women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,...

Issue 02/2019

Cyber attacks targeting critical infrastructure

Such is our reliance on electricity that a prolonged blackout would jeopardize transport systems, the supply of fresh water, communications and banking

Malicious hackers are threatening public safety all over the world. In the United States, for example, the January edition of the National Intelligence Strategy Report warns,...

Issue 01/2019

The challenges of cyber security in a connected world

Why cyber security measures must address personnel, processes and technologies

The growth of connected devices has accelerated the convergence of the once separate domains of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), resulting in industrial IoT...

Issue 01/2019

Standards for key information technologies

For many today, smart technologies facilitate carrying out daily activities, business operations, the management of critical infrastructures and more

The Internet of Things (IoT), increased connectivity and advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as algorithms and machine learning are enabling industries to...

Issue 01/2019

Robot cars

The latest advances in self-driving technology at CES

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming cars into friendly robots. The Las Vegas tech fest, which took place in January, offered tantalizing glimpses into the future for automotive...

Issue 01/2019

Who needs AI

AI is transforming industries and society, but we're still working out how to use AI-enabled devices in our everyday lives

There have been a lot of media reports recently about the failings of AI devices, from disappointing gadgets on show at the CES to malfunctioning hotel bots. Some of the...

Issue 01/2019

Automatizing the power grid

The electric grid is modernizing, helped along by IEC standards

Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) play a key role in grid automation. A new IEC standard is in the works to make these systems vendor-agnostic.

Issue 01/2019

Being prepared for quantum computing

Quantum computers threaten to break encryption, but moving to quantum cryptography now could safeguard data

One of the MIT’s best-known physicists, Seth Lloyd, uses a musical analogy to explain quantum computers. Classical computation, he says, is like a solo voice that produces a series of...

Issue 01/2019

Cyber security – a priority for broadcasters and media companies

Comprehensive protection of assets and content relies on a number of international standards and on standards and recommendations developed by all industry players

Protecting physical and digital assets, for production, storage and distribution, ensuring continuity of service, safeguarding valuable content from being stolen or misused, are some of...

Issue 06/2018

The risks of connected lives

Securing devices and data on the internet of things

Turn on the radio, set the timer for dinner, turn down the temperature, shut off the lights. With the internet of things (IoT), all of this is possible from the comfort of the couch or...

Issue 06/2018

Healthcare needs doctors and machines

Disruptive technologies bring healthcare improvements but raise new issues

Imagine being able to predict medical conditions in healthy people and take steps to prevent them before symptoms develop, or having fully autonomous systems monitor critical patients...

Issue 06/2018

Keeping kids safe

International Standards help parents navigate the dangers of smart toys

With the holidays approaching, many parents have entered the mad rush to find the perfect gift for their offspring. And, as a stroll through the toy section of any department store...

Issue 06/2018

Aviation safety requires a holistic, systems-based approach

Protecting the aviation industry from physical and cyber threats is challenging

Keeping the aviation industry safe and secure from physical and cyber attacks and other risks linked to potential information and operational technology (IT and OT) issues is of utmost...

Issue 06/2018

Thwarting cyber attacks in aviation

Collaboration is required from many organizations to make the flying experience safe and secure on the ground and in the air

Cyber attacks are carried out by a range of perpetrators. They include individuals, organized criminals and state-sponsored entities. Sometimes their malicious goals are distinct or...

Issue 05/2018

Waste not, want not!

Getting the measure of rising e-waste volumes

As the amount of electronic and electrical equipment waste (e-waste) generated each year continues to increase, the work accomplished by the IEC becomes ever more essential in helping...

Issue 05/2018

Growing high-tech salads

Advanced technology helps grow produce in cities

LEDs provide the lighting plants need to grow. Sensors measure temperature and humidity levels. Robots harvest and package produce. This could represent the future for growing fruit and...

Issue 05/2018

House of the rising sun

Solar thermal electricity is gaining ground, especially in the developing world

IEC is paving the way for the growth of concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) capacity around the world by issuing a number of new publications in the field, while technical...

Issue 05/2018

Electricity for the 21st Century - for all

Power generation and distribution in direct current can bring electricity to the hundreds of millions of people denied access to the benefits of modern life

Take a look around you. Is there anything we can do without electricity? Be it lighting, education, healthcare, productive work of almost any kind - everything requires electricity. And...

Issue 04/2018

Smarter living

New technologies for consumers make home life simpler and safer

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...

Issue 04/2018

More power to you!

Record-breaking year for renewable energy generation

Technology breakthroughs are lowering the cost of renewable energies while low-voltage direct current systems (LVDC) are being tested by experts both in the developed and developing...

Issue 04/2018

Planes, trains and automobiles

The future of transport – from flying cars to electric trucks

New technologies will revolutionize the way we commute and transport goods over short and long distances, helped by a plethora of IEC International Standards.

Issue 04/2018

AI empowers the workforce

Standardization is essential to the broad adoption of AI technologies

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...

Issue 04/2018

Cyber security for supply chains: as strong as the weakest links

Supply chains vulnerabilities make them targets of choice for attacks

As up to 80% of cyber breaches may originate in supply chains, protecting these is an absolute priority for all organizations. Industrial and critical infrastructure assets are most at...

Issue 03/2018

Women in a man's world

Women inventors and their influence on today’s technologies

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...

Issue 03/2018

Protecting the environment with drones and robots

New commercial and research roles for unmanned vehicles

History provides many instances of technologies developed for military application being spun off and used in the civilian sector for different, broader uses and at lower prices. Drones...

Issue 03/2018

From a doodle in the sand to the barcode

A beachside brainwave proved to be the inspiration behind a revolution in manufacturing and retailing

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.

Issue 03/2018

Back to the future of virtual reality

A brief history of virtual and augmented realities

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...

Issue 03/2018

Building blocks for cyber security

Blockchain opens up new possibilities for data protection

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...

Issue 03/2018

From conflict to civvy street

For a very long time advances in military technology have spilled over into civilian applications

In conflicts, throughout history all sides have tried to make the best possible use of inventions and technology to gain a decisive advantage over adversaries. At the same time...

Issue 03/2018

The lighting revolution

Lighting technology has been reinvented continuously since the first light bulb was patented in the late 19th century

The invention of the light bulb had a major effect on the lives of people in the 20th century. Over the years, lighting technology has never ceased to evolve. The various milestones...

Issue 03/2018

Good things come in pairs in Industry 4.0

Digital twins are real-time digital images of physical objects, or processes, that are optimizing performance in smart factories

Imagine opening your email and finding a medical prescription to treat an illness you didn’t know you had, without any prior physical tests and perhaps before you even felt unwell....

Issue 02/2018

Fly me to the sky

Flying cars were all the rage at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show

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...

Issue 02/2018

How safe is your car from hackers?

Protecting connected cars against cyber attacks

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...

Issue 02/2018

International Standards provide toolkit for GDPR compliance

Organizations all over the world are being forced to comply with sweeping new EU data protection rules

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...

Issue 02/2018

Harvesting energy from roads

New technologies capture ambient energy and convert it to electric power

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...

Issue 02/2018

Protecting railway networks from cyber threats

Rail networks, as integral parts of critical infrastructure, continue to come under cyber attack

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...

Issue 02/2018

Clean air moves boost interest in electric trucks

Advances in battery technologies contribute to the growth of commercial electrical vehicles

The electrification of commercial vans and trucks is being driven by a combination of technological advances in passenger electric vehicles and moves by governments and cities around...

Issue 01/2018

CES technology trends for 2018

AI technologies drive innovation

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....

Issue 01/2018

Protecting broadcast and multimedia assets and content

Media companies take action to tackle the growing threat from cyber attacks

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...

Issue 01/2018

AI is listening to you

Recent advances in voice recognition bring AI technologies to the home

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...

Issue 08/2017

Railways smarten up in battle for customers

Smart systems will make railways fit to face 21st century challenges

Railway operators are increasingly achieving greater safety and efficiency by using digital technologies and computer‑based management, control and communication systems. The...

Issue 08/2017

New generation

Smart grids to transform power generation

The world's growing population and the increasing use of renewable energies are posing unprecedented challenges for the conventional electricity grid. Intelligent systems which can...

Issue 08/2017

It’s anything but a dog’s life

Smart technology is changing how we interact with animals

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,...

Issue 07/2017

Cyber security for the modern grid

Protecting the keystone of critical infrastructure from cyber threats is an absolute priority

Mitigating risk and anticipating attack vulnerabilities on utility grids and systems are not just about installing technology, but also about understanding risk.

Issue 07/2017

Helping thwart cyber threats on nuclear plants

Bespoke IEC International Standards reinforce protection against cyber attacks on nuclear power plants

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,...

Issue 07/2017

Tried and tested

LVDC projects pave the way for standardization

A number of low voltage direct current (LVDC) trials are preparing the ground for a wider use of the technology, both in developed and developing countries.

Issue 07/2017

Expanded pumped storage power station goes into service

IEC experts, e-tech, visit new Veytaux pumped storage plant

Electricity is consumed predominantly as it is produced. Electricity generation relies increasingly on new renewable energy (RE) sources, mainly sun and wind. These are intermittent and...

Issue 07/2017

Flexible hydro operation for lean integration of new renewables

Hydropower helps incorporate the growing share of intermittent renewable sources into the energy mix

In 2015, global generation of electricity was 24 255 TWh. Hydropower accounted for around 16% of the total, making it the main renewable energy (RE) source for electricity...

Issue 07/2017

How International Electrotechnical Standards promote sustainability

Conversation between SCC and IEC ACEE Chair

The world’s climate is changing. This change will impact not only our communities but also the global economy. Organizations around the world are responding to these challenges in...

Issue 07/2017

Reduced scale model testing for hydropower projects

New and refurbished hydropower projects require extensive testing

Hydropower projects are usually very large, designed to last for decades and then to be refurbished. Owing to the huge costs involved and the need to achieve the best possible results...

Issue 06/2017

A new kind or training

Simulation technology is safe and cuts costs

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....

Issue 06/2017

Helping prevent a cyber nightmare

With daily cyber attacks on the increase and reaching all areas, IEC work is essential to prevent or, fails this, mitigate their impact

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...

Issue 06/2017

Driving the future

Autonomous and greener means of transport to become ubiquitous

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...

Issue 06/2017

Independence Day

How to help people with disabilities be more self-reliant

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...

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

Energy efficiency to recover power for the future

IEC work helps tap the biggest pool of available energy

Energy efficiency (EE) is the most important and easily available source of energy; it can be collected along the entire energy chain, from generation, transmission and storage to final...

Issue 06/2017

Printed electronics gathering pace

Printed electronics has moved rapidly from lab to manufacturing processes in recent years

Printed electronics is a relatively new technology, but it has already proven a disruptive, yet creative process that allows the production of new products and components, low-cost...

Issue 06/2017

Dealing with natural and industrial disasters

IEC Standards are key to help prevent and/or mitigate the impact of many disasters

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...

Issue 06/2017

Improving safety and reliability in process industry plants

Development of safety and reliability programmes for crucial plants

Ahmad Hosni, MSc, a Functional Safety Senior Engineer, Certified Functional Safety Expert/Professional and Certified Fire Protection Specialist, has just published a book on process...

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...

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...

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...

Issue 05/2017

Bright prospects for hydropower – and some challenges

Sharing thoughts about today’s largest source of renewable energy

IEC TC 4 Secretary Robert Arseneault, winner of the 2016 IEC Thomas A. Edison Award, was at IEC Central Office (CO) recently to receive his award. Arseneault also shared a few thoughts...

Issue 05/2017

Behind the virtual wheel

Simulation technology helps advance autonomous vehicles and intelligent transport

Virtual reality (VR) applications are improving the workplace of diverse industries. From construction, military and mining, to training first responders, practising complex surgery, or...

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

A blueprint for industry

Mass-produced, thin and flexible is the way forward!

Printed electronics is set to revolutionize multiple industries from automotive to photovoltaic. The IEC is helping to find the right applications through standardization.

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...

Issue 03/2017

Charging on the go

Wireless charging advances with IEC International Standards

Each day buses log thousands of kilometers following routes on the streets of cities and towns around the globe. It may seem unremarkable, then, for a fleet of buses to have provided a...

Issue 03/2017

Energy harvest ‘feeds’ road vehicles

New routes to cutting fuel consumption

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...

Issue 03/2017

Are we driving or ride sharing?

Reshaping personal transport and the automotive industry

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...

Issue 03/2017

Battle for the connected car

Car manufacturers and telecoms operators disagree on the future for connected cars

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...

Issue 03/2017

Watching the road ahead

Road transportation and machine vision

Machine vision has a great future in transportation, particularly as we move towards autonomous vehicles. Dealing with standardization in this area will require joint work between...

Issue 03/2017

Farming (r)evolution

Agricultural robots bring precision to farms of the future

The market for agricultural robots has the opportunity for significant expansion: the farming world needs to increase global production whilst it also faces challenges such as reduced...

Issue 03/2017

Smarter than the average lamppost

Connected lampposts offer more than cost savings

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!

Issue 03/2017

Lighting the road ahead

New technologies set fresh challenges for IEC TC 34

The lighting sector is experiencing a deep transformation across the world as new energy-efficient lighting technologies that first appeared a few years ago gain wide adoption. They are...

Issue 03/2017

Protecting road vehicles from cyber attacks

The automotive industry wakes up to cyber threats, and considers measures to thwart them

Critical infrastructure systems are being increasingly targeted by sophisticated cyber attacks. A session of the annual Future Networked Car symposium, organized by the International...

Issue 04/2017

When power fails

Microgrids limit the disruption caused by large-scale power outages

Power failure recovery is a key task for governments, hospitals and private businesses to get to grips with if they want to reduce the disruption caused by power outages resulting from...

Issue 04/2017

Plug and play for refugees

Low-cost technologies are helping refugee camps get some basic comforts

Access to clean and affordable energy for all is a sustainable development goal for the United Nations and the IEC is contributing to the effort with a number of its...

Issue 04/2017

Virtual training for real situations

Innovative technology helps save lives

Virtual reality (VR) is being used across many industries to improve business and enhance workplace safety. The industries include aerospace, advertising, automotive, construction,...

Issue 04/2017

Robots to the rescue

Unmanned independent and remote-controlled systems play central role in rescue missions

Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing the roles of aerial, terrestrial and maritime robotic systems in disaster relief, search and rescue (SAR) and salvage operations. Robots...

Issue 04/2017

Dealing with known unknowns – and knowns

Preparing for catastrophes and mitigating their impact

Natural and industrial or accidental disasters can take many forms and have devastating human and material consequences. Some may be forecast, others not, and there may be a range of...

Issue 02/2017

Robots pick up the challenge of home care needs

Growing number of dedicated robots for the care sector to cover multiple tasks for carers and patients

The demands posed by a rapidly ageing global population are leading manufacturers of robots to develop technology for providing care and rehabilitation for elderly and impaired people...

Issue 02/2017

Standardization enhances network security

Monitoring the network’s physical layer, in other words, the connections, cables, and other hardware assets, provides improved security

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,...

Issue 02/2017

Getting about is made easier

The technology helping disabled athletes is becoming mainstream

The life of people with disabilities has improved drastically thanks to advances in technology. Their mobility outside of the home has increased in leaps and bounds, to the extent that...

Issue 01/2017

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...

Issue 01/2017

Tech trends 2017

Insights and predictions by Shawn DuBravac, chief economist, CTA

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...

Issue 01/2017

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...

Issue 01/2017

Why Smart is more than intelligent

The origin of the word Smart

Smart is today widely used to signify added intelligence in an increasing number of otherwise ordinary constructs. The question is: why and when did we start to use the word SMART?

Issue 08/2016

Smart cities to boost energy efficiency

A wide range of technologies will help cities optimize energy use

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...

Issue 08/2016

Stacking solar, setting standards

Solar photovoltaic installations on the cusp of significant performance boost

Rapid development of new materials and production techniques in solar photovoltaics (PV) is pushing both the limits of technology and relevant industry standards. With a swathe of new...

Issue 08/2016

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

Issue 08/2016

Supporting technologies for photovoltaics

Barrier layer assemblies and printed electronics bound to play major role, especially in thin-film flexible PV panels

There are a number of technologies supporting the development and further implementation of photovoltaic (PV) devices. International Standards developed by several IEC Technical...

Issue 07/2016

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...

Issue 07/2016

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...

Issue 07/2016

Cutting-edge technology reshapes the Paralympics

Innovative virtual reality techniques and 3D printing are making major contributions to the production of high-tech sports equipment for athletes with disabilities

Paralympians successfully overcome physical, visual and intellectual impairments, but their equipment can impact their performance.

Issue 07/2016

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...

Issue 06/2016

Protecting against the new normal

The IEC plays a key role in protecting against cyberattacks aimed at critical assets

In an increasingly connected world, instances of cyberattacks targeting objects, systems, institutions and infrastructure are growing exponentially. The sophistication, severity and...

Issue 06/2016

Printing electronics anywhere

Printed electronics, a fairly new kid on the block, is set to revolutionize industry

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...

Issue 06/2016

Electricity drives global move towards greener transport

As populations continue to grow, authorities must find ways to make transport greener and more efficient so that people leave their cars at home

City traffic is increasingly congested and air quality often poor. However, transport systems which rely on full electric power, such as the metro, trams and railway lines, can...

Issue 06/2016

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...

Issue 06/2016

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...

Issue 06/2016

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...

Issue 06/2016

Who says water and electricity don’t mix?

Access to water resources for all uses rests on electricity

Poor water quality and water scarcity continue to pose a major threat to human health and are responsible for millions of deaths every year. Extracting water and treating used and...

Issue 06/2016

From eight words a minute to 13 terabits per second in 150 years

IEC first President Lord Kelvin was central to the success of the first fully working transatlantic telegraph cable

Given today’s low-cost or free crystal-clear voice calls and the real-time transfer between continents of vast volumes of data, including multimedia content, it’s easy to...

Issue 05/2016

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...

Issue 05/2016

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...

Issue 05/2016

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...

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,...

Issue 04/2016

Virtual reality is central to aviation and maritime training

What is often seen as a novelty in many domains has in fact been used for decades

Virtual reality is increasingly making the headlines, thanks mainly to the gaming community, but it started finding its way in a wide range of domains a long time ago. Virtual reality...

Issue 04/2016

Shipping sets watch for [not so] distant cyberthreats

Maritime industry bodies consider pre-emptive measures to thwart cyberthreats

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...

Issue 04/2016

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...

Issue 04/2016

Cooling data centre energy demand

Cutting energy needs for operating and cooling data centres emerges as a priority for the future

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...

Issue 03/2016

Fun with chemistry

Batteries enter new phase

Battery technology has always evolved to meet consumer demand and today a host of new markets are opening up for energy storage applications. Electric vehicles and increasing renewable...

Issue 03/2016

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...

Issue 03/2016

The greening of urban transport

The electrification of urban transport is driven by environmental concerns

Increasing traffic congestion and escalating air pollution are leading to schemes for cutting the number of individual passenger cars in cities and encouraging the wider use of public...

Issue 03/2016

WPT: a key route for EV uptake

Wireless power transfer will bring additional flexibility to EV charging

If electric vehicles are to reach their full potential, consumer concerns over range and reliability in operation and charging must be addressed decisively. Wireless power transfer...

Issue 03/2016

Are energy-independent vehicles the future of transport?

Looking beyond electric vehicles that need self-contained power sources

The wider introduction of electric vehicles is seen as a major move in cutting emissions of harmful substances and dependence on fossil fuels. Going a step further, some transport...

Issue 03/2016

Cleaner, greener shipping

Electric propulsion makes a bigger splash on the water

Electric propulsion has been used on waterways since the 1880s, where it is primarily installed in small boats transporting a limited number of passengers on rivers or lakes....

Issue 02/2016

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...

Issue 02/2016

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...

Issue 02/2016

How tiny technology is reshaping healthcare

Nanotechnology in medical wearables and implants is revolutionizing the way medical conditions are monitored, diagnosed and treated

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...

Issue 02/2016

Reverse mode fuel cells for energy storage

Using fuel cell modules in reverse mode will improve energy storage for renewables

A sense of collective responsibility is required to cope with the growing dependence on energy, given the fundamentally unpredictable nature of primary energy supply, the intermittent...

Issue 02/2016

Keeping medical electrical equipment safe from interference

Safe operation of medical equipment is essential to protect patients and users

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the ability of electronic and electrical systems or components to work reliably and safely when they are close together is crucial in many domains,...

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...

Issue 01/2016

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,...

Issue 01/2016

Cabled or wireless – high-quality audio is gaining ground

After a long decline high-performance audio has made a comeback

Not such a long time ago high-fidelity, or hi-fi, stereo sound systems, which first started appearing in homes in large numbers in the early 1970s, were considered the ultimate in home...

Issue 01/2016

Still young at 90

Radio at the heart of relief efforts

The theme of this year’s World Radio Day, which marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio on 13 February 1946, was “Radio in times of emergency and disaster”. Radio...

Issue 01/2016

Changing TV gear and consumption habits

Uncertainty about the future is the new certainty in the TV industry

In recent years the television industry has experienced countless changes to its content production and distribution modes, the equipment needed to support them and viewers’...

Issue 01/2016

Broadcasting from a new perspective

Innovative technology behind the scenes

The pan shot zooms in as it sweeps around the stage. Executed with precision, flawless deliveries of television news and entertainment shows have become the norm. Switch to sport and...

Issue 09/2015

EVs for kids reflect motoring industry trends

Like many other toys, children's ride-on replica vehicles have adopted electrical systems and propulsion for the greater enjoyment of their users

Battery powered (electric) ride-on toys, whether intended for use indoors or outdoors, offer children the experience of driving and controlling motor vehicles which are tailored to...

Issue 09/2015

More creative and safer festive lighting

New lighting solutions, mainly based on LEDs, are changing many aspects of holiday and festive lighting

The end of year season presents lighting designers and individuals with the opportunity to give free rein to their creative imagination and bring a festive atmosphere to towns,...

Issue 09/2015

Active Assisted Living: from strategy to reality

IEC SyC AAL up and running

Assuring quality of life for ageing populations is a global issue that in future may impact countries’ health and social systems to the point of jeopardizing their financial...

Issue 09/2015

Smart toys for clever kids

Sensors animate toy robots in innovative ways for playing and learning

Over the centuries, toys have evolved from dolls of stone, terracotta, wax or wood depicting humans, to today’s animated toy robots which can walk, jump, roll, spin, flip, kick, pick...

Issue 08/2015

Improving civil aviation security: an endless task

As International Standards close more security loopholes, new ones emerge

The recent crash of a Russian airliner has highlighted the difficulty of protecting civil aviation against deadly acts of violence. Russian officials have established that an explosive...

Issue 08/2015

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...

Issue 08/2015

Swimming safely in a clean environment

Public swimming pools need electricity as much as water

Public swimming pools rely on a wide range of equipment, most of it controlled electrically or electronically in one way or another. Users take a safe and clean swimming environment for...

Issue 08/2015

Asset integrity and functional safety

Lessons from the Gudrun offshore platform leak

The February 2015 condensate leak on the Gudrun offshore platform, in the North Sea, highlighted many lessons learned from other incidents and the importance of functional safety. It...

Issue 07/2015

Convenience and safety behind global power tool boom

Amateurs and professionals are benefitting from improved electric tools

In an age of innovation and constant technological evolution, a wide variety of affordable, easy-to-use power tools allow many people to maintain their homes and gardens themselves...

Issue 07/2015

Better safe than sorry

With cyberattacks on the increase, IEC has launched a number of initiatives to combat these

Have you ever had your e-mail hacked or been informed that the personal information you have given to your credit card company has been breached? Such breaches have become commonplace...

Issue 07/2015

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...

Issue 07/2015

No wires no tangles

The growing trend of wireless charging

The idea of charging up our gadgets without cables is not so new. Back in the early 90s a wireless charging toothbrush was introduced at a dentistry convention in Florida, US. But the...

Issue 07/2015

A different kind of workforce

A new breed of robot is extending the benefits of automated industry to smaller manufacturers

Smaller businesses are becoming more streamlined and competitive thanks to the development of cobots or collaborative robots, capable of working safely with humans along assembly lines.

Issue 07/2015

Innovative ways to get about town

Increasingly, cities are looking at new more efficient means of transportation

Despite decades of attempts to reduce urban traffic, by encouraging car-pooling or deterring drivers with congestion charges, city driving is more time-consuming than ever, and often...

Issue 06/2015

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...

Issue 06/2015

Smart Cities require a holistic approach to infrastructure

The need to make cities sustainable will drive the adoption of a range of smart solutions

With mass urbanization emerging as an unstoppable trend across the world, cities need to become sustainable on many levels. The solution is to design smart solutions at all levels to...

Issue 06/2015

Common Data Dictionary helps drive business forwards

The IEC CDD facilitates the exchange of technical data between companies

As business processes in electrical/electronic industries are increasingly being conducted electronically for both internal processes and interaction with external partners, the use of...

Issue 06/2015

Threats lurking on medical electronic data

Cyberattacks on healthcare establishments are a growing threat

Over the years the healthcare sector has become increasingly reliant on an IT infrastructure for the proper and safe operation of its equipment and to manage patients' medical records....

Issue 06/2015

Enhancing how you see the world

How new sectors are embracing innovative ways to use augmented reality

Have you experienced augmented reality (AR)? If you have ever had keyhole surgery, reached your destination by using a satellite navigation system or used an AR catalogue to see how...

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...

Issue 05/2015

Rethinking energy storage

Energy providers face increasing demand for power to sustain the daily activities of growing global populations

Consumers need access to a continuous, flexible and adequate electricity supply wherever they are. In addition to ensuring the provision of quality, stable electricity, energy suppliers...

Issue 05/2015

Over 130 years old, but still in its prime

Hydropower has been producing electricity for over 130 years and still has a bright future

Hydroelectricity still represents the largest source of renewable energy (RE) in the world. It is set to remain one of the largest, if not the largest, in many regions for the...

Issue 05/2015

DC takes the driving seat

Low voltage direct current has benefits for both developed and developing countries

At the 2014 IEC General Meeting in Tokyo, the IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) agreed to set up a Systems Evaluation Group, SEG 4: Low voltage direct current (LVDC)...

Issue 04/2015

No rest in efforts to thwart cyberattacks

IEC works to hinder IT security risks to industry and institutions

Following a surge in instances of attacks targeting government, organizations and private computer systems, cybersecurity threats are emerging as a major issue for economies and...

Issue 04/2015

Embracing cage-free colleagues

A new breed of robot is extending the benefits of automated industry to smaller manufacturers

Advances in the development of cobots or collaborative robots, capable of working safely with humans along assembly lines, is paving the way for smaller businesses to become more...

Issue 04/2015

From farm to table

Paying less for good bread

Industrial automation mainly evokes images of assembly lines where machines and robots put together, pack and dispatch semi-finished products or manufactured goods. Yet, one sector that...

Issue 04/2015

No cloud-free zone!

The cloud is here to stay and is expected to bring significant benefits for industry and individuals alike

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...

Issue 04/2015

No light, no safety, no automation

In industry light plays a central role in many domains, not just for lighting premises

Lighting fulfils a growing range of tasks in the industrial environment, improving safety and enabling automation in many areas

Issue 03/2015

Safe and sound on the roads

Connected vehicles should improve road safety, but security issues need addressing

Roads are becoming safer in industrialized countries, in spite of increased traffic volumes, thanks to improvements in vehicle electronics. The introduction of connectivity is likely to...

Issue 03/2015

When disaster strikes

Reducing the impact of power outages

Disasters are on the rise globally. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes or floods are often further exacerbated by power outages. They increase the misery of populations...

Issue 03/2015

Who's driving?

Putting driverless transport to the test

Saving commuter time, money, the environment and eliminating human error are key reasons behind a number of projects trialing driverless car-like transport for congested cities.

Issue 03/2015

Can drones replace satellites?

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

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have rapidly entered the civilian market after having been widely developed for military operations. They already have a disrupting effect on a wide...

Issue 03/2015

Tired of the tedious daily commute?

A new way to get around town

Hate the rush-hour, bumper-to-bumper routine, which ends in a lengthy search for that elusive, expensive parking space? Despite decades of car-pooling and deterring drivers with...

Issue 03/2015

Is your bus ride charged?

Cleaning up public transport networks

Power tools, mobile phones and tablets, wearables, electric toothbrushes, industrial applications powering wind turbines and equipment used in agriculture and forestry, marine, process...

Issue 03/2015

Lazy? Hungry? Too heavy or far to carry?

Conveyor belts for all purposes

From sushi, to luggage, to ore, more than ever, large, small, light, heavy, regular or irregular shaped objects are moved by conveyor belts. They may be simple in appearance, but...

Issue 03/2015

E-powering aviation from the ground up

An ever wider range of EVs and other equipment supports air transport activities

In civilian and military aerodromes, electric vehicles (EVs) are found both indoors and outdoors, like in a growing number of industrial environments. Together with a range of ancillary...

Issue 02/2015

The devil is in the nucleus

Ensuring the safety of nuclear installations and preventing misuse of radioactive material is vital

Monitoring radiation levels is paramount to ensuring protection against nuclear risks. IEC Technical Committee (TC) 45 is the only worldwide body developing international...

Issue 02/2015

Hobbyists help shape power tool industry

Leisure activities build market growth

Buffing, chiselling, drilling, levelling, planing, polishing, routing, sanding and screwdriving: power tools are used across industries such as automotive, infrastructure, construction,...

Issue 02/2015

Avoiding interference

Work to curtail radio frequency disturbance from electric tools is improving constantly

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the ability of electric and electronic devices and appliances to operate without interfering when close to each other, is important in a world of...

Issue 02/2015

Motors moving to IE codes

Major energy efficiency gains for electric motors

Electric motor systems are estimated to account for 46% of global electricity use(1). Converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, they rotate pumps, drive compressors, move...

Issue 02/2015

Dependable systems for all sectors

Ensuring system performance through dependability

Dependability is a crucial consideration in the development and application of technological systems. In today’s global business environment, dependability is a key decision-making...

Issue 01/2015

Tech trends 2015

Insights from author of Digital Destiny Shawn DuBravac

The 2015 CES was again a show of records, reflecting the growing importance of consumer electronics and connected devices.

Issue 01/2015

No wires, no tangles

Recent developments in wireless charging technology

Wireless charging is expected to prove highly convenient for consumers, yet the market is being slow to develop. One of the reasons could be that a standards war – albeit a small one...

Issue 01/2015

Keeping the radio on for nearly 90 years

From radio transmitters and receivers to better sound, the IEC sets standards

As World Radio Day, which marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio in 1946, is celebrated every 13 February, it is worth recalling nearly 90 years of continuous...

Issue 01/2015

The future of 3D printing

Digital meets the visible world

e-tech attended a presentation by Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk during CES. Carl Bass has been a pioneer of 3D printing. Below is a summary of his talk.

Issue 01/2015

What’s up?

The market of wearable smart devices

Based on a presentation given during the Tokyo General Meeting, with permission from Prof. Sung Kyu Park and the IEC National Committee of Korea.Computing and how we connect to the...

Issue 01/2015

The great potential of wearables

Wearing it well

Do you monitor yourself closely? Heart rate, carb intake, sleeping patterns? Do you track your child’s whereabouts? What about finding the dog, your keys or wallet? Wearable...

Issue 01/2015

Seeing through virtual reality

Developing virtual reality technology and its uses

VR (virtual reality) is mind-blowing in the gaming environment, plunging users headlong into breathtaking new worlds. In other fields, it allows doctors to perform surgery remotely and...

Issue 01/2015

New generation USB interfaces on their way

IEC and USB-IF expand cooperation to support next-generation high-speed data delivery and device charging applications

The IEC and USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) recently announced that they have expanded their International Standards cooperation to include the latest USB-IF specifications for...

Issue 01/2015

Batteries charge forward

Mobile and automotive applications depend on battery performance

The performance of batteries is becoming ever more important for mobile devices as these get more capable and need extra power. The automotive sector too is trying to overcome range and...

Issue 09/2014

Playing to packed houses

IEC International Standards are always present in the limelight or backstage

Millions of people watch films and plays or attend performances in cinemas, theatres or concert halls around the world every year. In addition to offering entertainment, enjoyment and...

Issue 09/2014

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...

Issue 08/2014

The promising impact of renewables

Constant need for electricity drives rapid growth of renewables

The wide-ranging environmental, economic and employment benefits of the rapidly expanding RE (renewable energy) sector are multiple and go beyond solely electricity generation....

Issue 08/2014

Storage: the heartbeat of renewables

The importance of electrical energy storage

As many countries try to increase the share of REs (renewable energies) in their electricity generation portfolio, a major issue facing utilities is EES (electrical energy storage). IEC...

Issue 08/2014

Towards Smarter Cities and Smarter Grids

IEC work advances urban environments and the best use of energy

By 2050, it is projected that the world population will reach 9.6 billion1. Moreover if current trends continue, 67% of these people are predicted to be living in cities. Hand-in-hand...

Issue 08/2014

The sparks that make land transport flow

All modes of land transport depend on electrical and electronic systems

Public and personal road transport, as well as railways, rely to an ever greater extent on electrical and electronic systems for better safety and energy efficiency. IEC International...

Issue 08/2014

Over a century of electric medical devices

The continual evolution of healthcare technology

The effects of electricity on the body were recorded as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times, when electric eels were used to treat joint pain, migraines and epilepsy. In the late...

Issue 08/2014

Ultrasonics in medical applications

All healthcare technology relies on electrotechnology

Over the past century, the great progress made in healthcare for existing and new technology relies on electrotechnology. Following the discovery of X-ray imaging in the late 19th...

Issue 08/2014

Trend-setting devices

Staying connected

We live in a “real time” world where soft- and hardware Internet technology enables us to access more products and services any time, any place. IEC work, including printed...

Issue 08/2014

Delivering portable healthcare

Revolutionary wearables

The scope of electronic wearables has broadened from the hearing aid, or heartbeat monitors to items widely used in social, health, wellness and medical areas, such as smart glasses,...

Issue 07/2014

Looking behind the standards

Accelerating the pace of standards development through pre-normative research

As the pace of technological development accelerates, there is increasing pressure to reduce the time required to produce international standards, as well as to start the...

Issue 07/2014

Dependable systems for all sectors

Ensuring system performance through dependability

Dependability is a crucial consideration in the development and application of technological systems. In today’s global business environment, dependability is a key decision-making...

Issue 06/2014

Aerospace 3D printing takes off

The aerospace industry moves from fast prototyping to additive manufacturing

Demand for products made by 3D printing, also known as AM (additive manufacturing), is expanding in both consumer and industrial markets as the technology, which has been around since...

Issue 06/2014

The light alternative

Optical circuit boards light the way past the data cliff

Over the past decade, the volume of digital information being captured, processed, stored and conveyed from one place to another has truly exploded with the proliferation of mobile data...

Issue 06/2014

Printed electronics: from lab to fab

Printed electronics is becoming pervasive

For a number of years printed electronics has been a technology that promised much but delivered little, but it is now moving from the laboratory into industry. In response to the need...

Issue 05/2014

Energy harvesting getting bigger

Energy harvesting is increasingly used to power large systems too

Interest in energy harvesting, the process associated with the collection of low-grade energy from sources such as ambient or waste heat, human power, solar, thermal and kinetic energy,...

Issue 05/2014

Supercapacitors charge energy storage

Supercapacitors open up a raft of opportunities for energy storage and delivery

Electricity storage is currently one of the prime areas for research and development within the energy and automotive sectors. With their high power density and suitability for short...

Issue 05/2014

Piezoelectrics power onwards

Piezoelectric materials and devices are used in many applications

Although the first practical piezoelectric devices emerged little more than three decades ago they are becoming increasingly commonplace and can now be found in a diverse array of...

Issue 04/2014

Full steam ahead!

With global demand for electricity exploding, steam turbines have a hot future ahead

Steam turbines, first introduced in the late 19th century, have been greatly in demand ever since for electricity generation, marine propulsion and in industry. They are responsible for...

Issue 04/2014

Thermal solar moves into the mainstream

The construction of thermal solar power plants introduces a new source of energy

CSP (Concentrating solar thermal power) has long been viewed favourably by the wholesale energy sector. Now, advances in technology – including the vital thermal storage capacity that...

Issue 04/2014

Journey to the centre of the Earth

Globally available geothermal energy offers countless benefits

Geothermal energy, or heat from the Earth, is an abundant form of renewable energy that can be used in small or large scale applications. Its exploitation is expanding rapidly...

Issue 04/2014

More than a drop from the ocean

Energy from the seas is emerging as a future huge source

Nowadays, marine energy accounts for only a tiny proportion of the electricity produced from renewable sources. However it is forecast to represent a very sizeable share of the overall...

Issue 03/2014

Treating the body electric

New and existing electrotechnologies offer interesting prospects for medicine

Awareness of the effects of electricity on the human body is not recent. Mentions of treatment using electricity were first recorded in ancient Greece and Rome. In more modern times,...

Issue 03/2014

Sound of silence

Medical ultrasonics, first introduced for diagnosis, are also found in other applications

Ultrasounds, which cannot be heard by humans, are used extensively in healthcare. They are found in diagnosis, surgical, therapeutic and cleaning environments, as well as in other...

Issue 03/2014

Taking a clear and safe look inside…

Medical imagery has made a major contribution to medicine for over a century

Medical imaging, used to visualize the interior of patients' bodies, is an indispensable tool that allows doctors to diagnose and treat internal illnesses and traumatic injuries, such...

Issue 02/2014

Maglev – a technology for the future?

Magnetically-levitated trains are running in a small number of countries

Railways have constantly improved since they were first introduced. However, they still rely on basically the same principle: train wheels running on steel tracks and causing friction....

Issue 02/2014

Can smart traffic and cars save lives?

Road safety has been steadily improving; the trend is expected to continue

Each year, an estimated 1,3 million people die in road traffic accidents; a further 20-50 million are injured. Technologies that include new safety devices, connected and autonomous...

Issue 02/2014

Easier, safer, leaner and cleaner

Greater electrical and electronic content in cars lightens drivers' burden

Most major automobile manufacturers now offer a variety of EVs (electric vehicles). However, this offering often obscures the fact that the electrical and electronic content in vehicles...

Issue 02/2014

EV wireless charging system: a standardization challenge

Since 2011 Dimitrios Ladas, IEC 2013 Young Professional Leader, has been a member of the IEC TC 69

 Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks, project team which develops the Standard for Wireless Power Transfer for EV charging. In this article he gives insights into...

Issue 02/2014

Heavy lifting

EVs muscle in on heavy industrial applications

Mention of EVs (electric vehicles) immediately brings to mind electric cars and possibly urban transport vehicles such as trolleybuses or electric buses. However, it is also important...

Issue 02/2014

Behind the scenes at the Sochi Olympics

IEC International Standards helped to make things work

Invisible but essential for the success of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, IEC work underpinned a host of technologies which helped in the smooth running of the Games.

Issue 01/2014

Tech trends 2014

Presentation by Shawn DuBravac, International CES in Las Vegas

The electronics industry is one of the fastest innovating industries globally. In 2013 USD 6 billion worth of electronic products were sold in categories that didn't exist just a few...

Issue 01/2014

Advanced displays for better content

UHDTV displays becoming viable consumer option

New display technologies are driving up the sales of equipment worldwide. The rollout of 4K or UHDTV (ultra high definition TV), which offers four times the resolution of current 1080p...

Issue 01/2014

Back with a vengeance!

High-performance audio is making a remarkable comeback

In spite of the widely held view that high-performance audio was losing the prominent position it had in the entertainment sphere a few decades ago, it has been making a significant...

Issue 01/2014

The Internet of Things

How sensors change the sharing of information

At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) a group of experts met and shared some of the opportunities and hurdles facing the Internet of Things in the consumer space. This is a short summary...

Issue 01/2014

Standards in the Cloud

Interview with Don Deutsch, Chairman of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 38, Distributed Application Platforms and Services

Don Deutsch, chairman of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 38, Distributed Application Platforms and Services, shares his thoughts on the importance of standards for the paradigm-shifting field of cloud...

Issue 01/2014

More content down the same pipe

Improving audio and video coding allows more and higher quality multimedia content

Over the last two decades digitization of multimedia product content has offered global access to a progressively wider choice of services and better audio and video. The most visible...

Issue 01/2014

Food print

3D food printer aims to help promote home cooking

“Darling, what should I print for dinner tonight?” Not cook, not bake, but print. This question, which, six months ago would have seemed odd, may be one frequently asked in...

Issue 01/2014

2014 CES megatrends

Connected devices everywhere for everybody

From dog bracelets to pill boxes, to devices that measure our health and fitness levels, the Internet of Things has become the Internet of Everything. At CES, literally hundreds of...

Issue 01/2014


Huge impact on our digital future

MEMS, tiny electromechanical systems, are now an indispensable component of any piece of electronic equipment, from smart phones, to tablets, to wearable devices, cars, aeronautics and...

Issue 09/2013

Cities getting smarter around the world

IEC International Standards help meet the challenges faced by smart projects developers

Smart Cities promise both to provide a sustainable energy solution to the challenges of the urban environment and improved quality of life for the millions of city-dwellers across the...

Issue 09/2013

Going green

Cutting costs with smart buildings

By 2050, according to current forecasts, about 6,3 billion people, comprising nearly 70% of the world's population, will be living in cities. This great surge of urbanization and the...

Issue 09/2013

Smart meters

Looking for smart users

Smart Grids, smart cities and smart buildings rely on the proper and reliable transmission, distribution and use of energy resources. This requires usage data to be exchanged between...

Issue 08/2013

Disruptive but creative technologies

Printed electronics and nanotechnologies are transformational processes

Printed electronics and nanotechnologies are set to revolutionize the electronics industry and many other domains. These disruptive, yet creative processes are expected to become two of...

Issue 08/2013

IEC work supports renewables' expansion

Standardization work for renewable sources gathers pace

With growing global energy needs and concern about the adverse impact of burning fossil fuels, efforts are under way to tap all possible sources of RE (renewable energy). IEC TCs...

Issue 08/2013

Robots enter all domains

Home, factories or hospitals are some of the environments where robots can be found

Deployed in car manufacturing to replace workers for hazardous tasks just over 50 years ago, robots were later introduced into other domains, such as homes and medical premises to take...

Issue 08/2013

Personal and public electric transport

Adoption of EVs for personal and public use is expanding, in particular in urban areas

Public and personal transport vehicles are increasingly dependent on electrical systems for propulsion and countless other functions, even more so in urban environments. Many IEC TCs...

Issue 08/2013

Working for a brighter and greener future

IEC Standards help lighting the way forward

The world’s lighting industry is constantly expanding, driven by many factors that include a need to check power consumption. The quest for energy-efficient lighting extends beyond...

Issue 07/2013

Lighting manages to smarten up

Whole sector progress benefits users and industry

Advanced light management systems make it possible to go beyond adequate lighting to deliver precisely the right light to the right place at the right time. This flexibility results in...

Issue 07/2013

Urban lighting: upgrade or replace?

Uneasy choice between high short-term costs and long-term savings

Lighting for the residential, commercial, industrial and public spaces is undergoing a radical transformation with the introduction of new lighting solutions. Users are often faced with...

Issue 07/2013

Bright future for LEDs on the roads

Car manufacturers are introducing LED-based lights in all classes of vehicles

IEC International Standards and evolving LED technology will both play a key role in increasing the adoption of solid-state lighting in automotive applications.

Issue 07/2013

LaserOrigami: laser-cutting 3D objects

Rapid prototyping with a laser cutter

Rapid prototyping, the fast-moving production of models or parts, is quickly expanding in manufacturing and other sectors. Researchers from the Hasso Plattner Institute, in Potsdam,...

Issue 06/2013

Twenty thousand MW under the sea

Marine energy is set to play a growing role in the global supply of renewables

With growing global energy needs and concern about the adverse impact of burning fossil fuels, efforts are under way to tap all possible sources of renewable energy. After developments...

Issue 06/2013

Small but by no means insignificant

Small hydropower projects have the potential of bringing electricity to many

For most people the word hydropower evokes pictures of massive installations and large dams, yet the potential of small hydroelectric projects is huge and expanding. Two IEC TCs...

Issue 06/2013

On and under the surface

TC work supports a wide range of technologies to convert marine energy into electrical energy

As the quest for a greater share of renewables in the global energy mix gathers momentum, marine energy is emerging as a huge and potentially unlimited source of power. IEC TC...

Issue 05/2013

Disruptive printing

Printed electronics is a relatively new transformational technology

Printed electronics is set to revolutionize the electronics industry and many other domains. It will prove a disruptive, yet creative process that will allow the production of new...

Issue 05/2013

IEC shares vision with energy leaders

IEC President attends GSEP 2013 Washington Summit

At the recent GSEP (Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership) annual summit the IEC was invited to participate in the programme and also hosted a session on energy microgrids for...

Issue 05/2013

The IEC helps keep the power on

New brochure showcases work in the energy sector

Modern life is unthinkable without electricity – it transforms lives. IEC International Standards cover all facets of electrical energy generation, distribution, storage and use;...

Issue 05/2013

Citius, Altius, Fortius…

The sky’s no limit.

"Faster, Higher, Stronger" – the Olympic motto could very well reflect the evolution of civil aviation. Planes are flying faster, higher and further than ever, as well as...

Issue 04/2013

Dr Robot needs standards too!

With more robots used in medical care, International Standards are vital for safety

Robotic systems have been around in industry for more than 50 years. Their introduction to the medical and healthcare environment around the world is much more recent and carries the...

Issue 04/2013

Silence is not always golden

IEC International Standards help hearing-impaired people live a more comfortable life

Hearing loss reportedly affects the lives of hundreds of millions in the world. Hearing aids help those suffering from this disability live a nearly "normal" life, but still...

Issue 04/2013

Securing Internet transactions

Standardization of lightweight cryptography: ISO/IEC 29192

As more and more PCs, mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) go online increased security is necessary for the compact devices which provide their Internet connections....

Issue 03/2013

Electric cars take off with new standards

With EV prices falling, sales are set to soar with an obvious need for relevant Standards

If 2012 was the year that hybrid vehicle sales moved up a gear, 2013 will be the year that brought drivers more choice. As automotive manufacturers unveil a vast array of plug-in hybrid...

Issue 03/2013

Electric urban transport

A revival after a long decline

More than half the world's population now live in cities, according to United Nations data, and that percentage is forecast to hit 60% by 2030. By 2025 there will be 37 megacities (22...

Issue 03/2013

Workshop covers e-mobility safety issues

IEC President stresses importance of safety aspects of e-mobility

ACOS (the Advisory Committee on Safety) organized a workshop on Safety aspects in the area of e-mobility, in Frankfurt, Germany, in February. The aim of the workshop, attended by IEC...

Issue 03/2013

"A great and interesting life"

Boris Kit, world leading space scientist who turned 103, worked in standardization

Life’s course can be decided by a string of unexpected events and encounters, some lucky, others unfortunate. This has certainly been the case for world-renowned US space scientist,...

Issue 02/2013

Sun to Earth: time for standards?

Mitigating the impact of severe geomagnetic storms on high-voltage power grids

Since the geomagnetic storm in March 1989 that produced a power system blackout in the Province of Québec, Canada, considerable scientific work has been undertaken in North America,...

Issue 02/2013

Clearing up misconceptions

Latest IEC International Standard for safety of AV and ITE

The latest International Standard for the safety of audiovisual products and information technology equipment is often incorrectly interpreted, clarification is needed. AV (audiovisual)...

Issue 01/2013

Fuel cells poised to power mobile devices

IEC work crucial to product development and safety

While the ever-growing demand for more powerful mobile electronic devices is pushing the conventional Li-ion (lithium-ion) battery to its limits, the latest portable fuel cell systems...

Issue 01/2013

Chores made easy

IEC International Standards help robots tidy up inside and outside the house

Following the introduction of the first electric vacuum cleaners in the early 20th century, a range of different appliances have helped deal with many household chores. However, all...

Issue 01/2013

Watt? No. Think lumen!

Finding the right light is not so clear

Domestic consumers, faced with the gradual phasing out of the incandescent light bulb that has lit their environment for well over a century, have some difficulty finding new...

Issue 01/2013

Robots: reshaping manufacturing

Industrial robots are redefining industry, products and working practices

Industrial robots have been around for over 50 years. The first one, an automated die-casting machine that took over hazardous tasks from workers, was installed at a General Motors...

Issue 08/2012

Pumped-storage key to energy storage

Accommodating supply variations

With rising electricity consumption and costs, and the need to balance increasing levels of intermittent RE (renewable energy) generation from wind and solar systems, EES (electrical...

Issue 08/2012

Marine renewables

Tidal energy generation and the path to commercialization

Jonathan Colby was one of the three 2011 Young Professional Leaders. Here he outlines the advances that have been made in the marine renewable energy sector and highlights the...

Issue 08/2012

Going with the wind

IEC International Standards support wind power’s remarkable expansion

As demand surges for clean power generation to meet the world’s growing energy need, the renewable energy sector is set to expand rapidly. Wind energy is currently the most cost...

Issue 07/2012

Making the right connections

Room for many solutions to many messages

Multimedia content and computer data can be accessed through a variety of channels. In recent years the wireless distribution and reception of audio, video signals and other kinds of...

Issue 07/2012

IEC endorses four USB specifications

Industry, users and trade all derive benefit

Connectors and interfaces are central to computer and multimedia devices, allowing them to communicate and exchange all forms of data and content. With a total installed base now in...

Issue 06/2012

Leaner and cleaner heating and cooling

Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and renewables to cut consumption

The building sector accounts for more than 35% of the world’s total energy demand, "of which 75% is for space heating and domestic water heating", according to...

Issue 06/2012

Lean, mean and green

Heating, cooling and powering the 2012 Olympics in a sustainable way

Some modern Olympic Games have been branded as extravagant and a waste of public money. Installations are costly and facilities in service for only a short period during the event –...

Issue 06/2012

A smarter way of using heat pumps

Evening out the load

David Victor Tackie is one of the three 2011 Young Professional Leaders. In collaboration with Helena Segerberg, a Consultant Engineer from Balslev who is working on a large Danish...

Issue 05/2012

Reducing hazards in the home

The role played by IEC International Standards

By Elaine Clayton, 2011 IEC Young Professional

Issue 05/2012

Swim, paddle and play in safety

Standards set the bar

A heightened interest in leisure and concern for healthy lifestyles are driving demand in affluent societies for fitness installations – including swimming pools – in clubs,...

Issue 05/2012

No networked home without standards

Homes get their act together

The home environment becomes increasingly networked and integrated: appliances get smarter and communicate better with entertainment devices, lighting, heating, cooling and alarm...

Issue 05/2012

Keeping intruders at bay

IEC standards for reliable alarm and security systems

Producers of intrusion alarm and electronic security systems, whose past activities have focused mainly on industrial, commercial and government premises, have found new business...

Issue 04/2012

Energy storage to help meet future needs

Balancing out requirements

The IEC MSB (Market Strategy Board) has published a White Paper on EES (Electrical Energy Storage) in which it analyses the role EES plays in electricity use,...

Issue 04/2012

Cloud Computing

Building firm foundations for standard development

Cloud computing and the use of data, software and services that are kept on the Internet rather than on individual devices to provide on-demand access, represent a huge market expected...

Issue 04/2012

Bringing storage out of storage

Why storage technologies deserve a place of honour in Smart Grids.

EES (Electrical Energy Storage) is becoming increasingly important as alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, feed into the grid. EES allows for power flow to be controlled,...

Issue 04/2012

Power on the go

The electric vehicle and its battery

Focus by Boston Consulting Group, shortened and published with permission – full Focus available at: breakthrough for EVs (electric...

Issue 04/2012

Smart Grid Business Model

Electronomics: Reinventing electricity

The first step to profiting from Electronomics – which I define as the economics of the global shift to an Electricity Economy -- is to understand the revolution that is upon us and...

Issue 03/2012

Safe shipping doesn’t happen by accident

Electrical equipment and instrumentation play a key role

Maritime transportation is the most effective means of moving large quantities of cargo over long distances. Merchant ships transport around 90% of international trade (in terms of...

Issue 03/2012

Beaming at performance and safety

Geneva Motor Show displays widespread adoption of xenon and LED lighting

On the lookout for bling-bling, the flashy, extremes in performance, superlatives in whatever sense, some of the visitors to the 2012 International Motor Show in Geneva might have been...

Issue 03/2012

From analogue to digital

Using modern technology to improve racing car performance

This is the success story of a family team of car enthusiasts who set out to win a vintage car race. They integrated modern technology into their 1929 racing car in order to be able to...

Issue 03/2012

First American in orbit

50th anniversary of first US manned orbital space flight

On 20 February 2012, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first manned orbital mission of the United States, launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Issue 02/2012

Helping to deal with hazards effectively

Environmental sensors

Sensors, devices that react to heat, light, radiation, chemicals or other stimuli, are central to our everyday life. They detect movement, the presence of humans, objects or certain...

Issue 02/2012

Itsy bitsy

MEMS now big in consumer electronics

MEMS, tiny electromechanical systems, are now an indispensable component of portable consumer electronics where they increase the performance, accuracy and reliability of existing...

Issue 02/2012

Humanizing the automobile

Providing safety through multiple sensors

Motor vehicle manufacturing has changed beyond recognition in the last few decades. Consumers once bought a simple chassis with four wheels and an engine attached; now they purchase a...

Issue 01/2012

Ever thinner

Components and materials reduce in size and increase in power

At the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas it seemed that the real buzz word for 2012 was THIN. While the trend is towards ever smaller components, screens – which are...

Issue 01/2012

Wired for the future

Connections are not only about wireless

The buzzword in the multimedia world now is wireless: audio-visual devices communicate wirelessly, content is distributed and accessed via wireless networks, some mobile devices can be...

Issue 01/2012

Expanding demands

Clean renewable world energy

Since IEC TC 4: Hydraulic Turbines, was set up in 1913, the world’s population has multiplied by a factor of 4 – now over the 7 billion mark. Almost a third of the world’s...

Issue 10/2011

Airfield lighting

The LED revolution

Lighting plays a crucial role in day-to-day air traffic operations. After years of gradual improvements, AGL / AFL (airfield ground lighting or airfield lighting) is now on the...

Issue 09/2011

Electric cables

Wired up to go

A surprising number of fires are caused by electrical faults that are associated with wiring or wiring devices. In the United States, fixed wiring heads the list of causes of ignition...

Issue 09/2011

Shifting signals from copper to fibre

The distribution of radio frequency signals is experiencing rapid changes

RF or r.f. (radio frequency) signals, used to carry multimedia, voice or data content, may reach end-users through cable or over the air via electromagnetic wave propagation or...

Issue 09/2011

Connecting the world

Through thick and thin

Connectors play a vital role in any device. Yet they rarely attract much attention because the focus is generally on the device itself, be it a computer, telephone, photovoltaic module,...

Issue 09/2011


Using electricity to switch

Relays are electromechanical devices. That is an area for which the experts in IEC TC (Technical Committee) 17 are responsible.

Issue 09/2011

Safe and sound on the roads

Connected vehicles should improve road safety, but security issues need addressing

Roads are becoming safer in industrialized countries, in spite of increased traffic volumes, thanks to improvements in vehicle electronics. The introduction of connectivity is likely to...

Issue 07/2011


Banking on the motors

When the going gets tough, a customary fiscal reaction of many states is to print additional national currency. As the millions of fresh banknotes roll off the printing press, how many...

Issue 06/2011

Service robots in figures

An opportunity for a new educational strategy in engineering

The international summit on robolution held from 23-25 March 2011 in Lyon, France gathered together hundreds of the world's leading expert robot manufacturers, designers, developers and...

Issue 06/2011

Service robots in education

A national strategy to educate the children

In recent years the new category of robot known as the service robot has come into existence. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for engineers and developers, both in terms...

Issue 06/2011


Robots provide tranquillity and care

For many severe health conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or autism, which statistics seem to indicate are on the rise, it has been shown that robotic assistance can help...

Issue 06/2011


The end of the plugs and sockets dilemma?

More than 100 years after the war of currents between Edison and Tesla/Westinghouse, LVDC (low voltage direct current) is being discussed as the possible next evolution of electricity...

Issue 05/2011

Intelligent buildings

Reducing energy use through smart technology

Even based on the most conservative of figures, in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, buildings account for at least one-quarter of all energy use....

Issue 05/2011

Sensors and transducers transmit intelligence

Intelligent buildings

There is a wide variety of intelligent applications in buildings that often simply goes unnoticed. Smart buildings get much of their intelligence from the small sensors and transducers...

Issue 05/2011

Building philosophy

High-performance schools

Taking a systems approach to managing energy in buildings is not restricted only to the devices and installations. The US (United States) has come up with the notion of High Performance...

Issue 05/2011

Halt! Who goes there?

Controlling access

Controlling access to buildings, particularly those open to the public, has become a major security challenge for any institution. The advent of the digital era has provided a myriad of...

Issue 04/2011

Power to the people

Do it yourself wirelessly

With the exception perhaps of the Y and Z generations who were born in and after the 1980s and won't have known any differently, most people who are of the Baby Boom generation, or...

Issue 03/2011

Peugeot VLV (Light City Car), 1942

The electric vehicle and its battery

Focus by Boston Consulting Group, shortened and published with permission – full Focus available at: breakthrough for EVs (electric...

Issue 03/2011

How far will it go?

Powering the electric vehicle

A major challenge for the electric vehicle (EV) is its technical ability to store enough energy to reach its destination. How far is far enough? How can range anxiety be circumvented?

Issue 03/2011

Power and water

Alternatives to chemical batteries in transportation

Fuel cells have the advantage of being non-polluting, non-combusting and producing no dangerous emissions, only water and heat. How close to broad-scale commercialization is this...

Issue 01/2011


Strong cooperation in SC 59F produces “dust-free” success

We probably take vacuum cleaners for granted. An easy flick of a switch and dust mites, dirt and tumbleweeds of dog hair disappear into a handy container. Even more astonishing, it’s...