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In a city famous for its honking horns and yellow cabs, it is hard to imagine that horse drawn carriages were once the most common form of transportation in New York City. Two images of Fifth Avenue, taken only thirteen years apart, demonstrate the speed of the transformation: in 1900, the street was filled with carriages pulled by horses and in 1913, the horses had been replaced by automobiles. Innovation and change happen for a myriad of reasons, as Henry Ford can attest, but result in bankruptcy for those, like the horse industry, that are not prepared.
At this time of the year many eyes are turned towards the new technologies coming out of big trade shows, such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And while new technologies still have their detractors, it would be very difficult to dismiss the benefits many of them are bringing to areas such as medicine, manufacturing and ICT, to name but a few.
It is a generally accepted notion that we are living in times of rapid change. If, to paraphrase Heraclitus, change is the only constant, then organizations must anticipate areas of possible change and prepare themselves accordingly.
IEC Council elected Yinbiao Shu of China as IEC President for a three-year term of office, starting 1 January 2020.
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 interactive virtual reality platform in which characters can meet to escape from the hardship of their real-life city slums. While this may not be our experience yet, it is not far removed from the visions of the first pioneers in virtual reality.
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 and other unmanned powered vehicles are a good example.
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 developing systems to minimize one’s own losses has also been a priority. Military needs have often accelerated many technologies, through improvements to existing systems or the development of new ones. More and more of these technologies have been adopted for civilian use, the reverse process from civilian to military applications is also observed, to a lesser extent.
Manufacturing continues to expand its geographic reach. Electrical and electronic goods now represent 17,7% of global trade and more companies than ever need to be able to collaborate and participate in the value chains that span the globe. IEC work uniquely enables this type of cooperation. Industry is a high priority for IEC, since most experts participating in our work come from it.
The IEC Lord Kelvin Award, the highest global prize in electrotechnology honours Uwe Kampet’s outstanding commitment to the mission of the IEC and long-term contribution to increasing safety as well as enabling the technical harmonization that underpins global trade
Electricity and electronics are increasingly in everything, even in devices that were purely mechanical before. Not only individual products, but whole companies need to be able to work with each other to come up with technology solutions for increasingly large systems. In his address to Council Nomura sent a strong message: IEC National Committees (NCs) have a key role to play in promoting IEC work. They are the IEC! More than ever, NCs need to represent all national stakeholders and send the right experts to participate in IEC work at the global level.
ISO/IEC JTC 1 is the Joint Technical Committee of the IEC and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for International Information Technology Standards. Created in 1987, JTC 1 currently has 20 Subcommittees (SCs), one Study Group and three Working Groups. It has published more than 2 800 Standards.
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