We rely on statistics reported to us through surveys or by news agencies to inform our understanding of our world. We rely on companies’ claims about their products to help us make decisions on which ones to purchase. But what helps build a sense of trust in technology? Standards.
World Standards Day, held every year on 14 October, honors the collaborative efforts of of thousands of experts worldwide who develop international standards.
Standards give assurance to those who use them by ensuring interoperability of devices. Users can then take those devices anywhere and rely on them to work. By creating a level playing field, standards build an expectation among users and providers for a certain technology. And that sense of assurance is reflected in the theme for World Standards Day 2016: Standards Build Trust.
IEEE, as a leading developer of global standards, helps fulfill that mission every day. Many of us trust tools in our daily lives that are built on IEEE standards.
We rely on the interconnected nature of our smartphones and computers through IEEE 802 standards for Ethernet and Wi-Fi.
We don’t even question that there will be a reliable power network to our homes and businesses, which have been built to IEEE power standards covering transmission and distribution, including standards, like IEEE 1264, that help keep small animals out of substations to prevent power outages.
And that trust is also being developed for cutting-edge areas of technology. Standards help to create integrated technologies, like the smart grid in the home through the use of IEEE standards such as IEEE 1547, IEEE 1901, and IEEE 2030. Smart metering standards, like IEEE 1377 or IEEE 1701, extend the smart grid to our utilities and other businesses.
IEEE standards also build trust in areas such as voting machines (IEEE 1622) and laptop batteries (IEEE 1625). The IEEE 11073 family of standards features the world’s leading standards for medical device communications, ensuring reliability in health information transfer that your medical team needs [see infographic above].
PAVING THE WAY
IEEE supports green technologies through standards, like IEEE 1888 on green community control networks [see infographic above].
IEEE standards such as IEEE 1900 and IEEE 2200 increase the use and reach of our mobile devices, while IEEE 2030.5, IEEE 1609, and IEEE 1616 are vital to the intelligent transportation systems that will guide self-driving vehicles.
Standards for the Internet of Things, like IEEE P2413, and for biometrics, like IEEE 2410, are expanding the connectivity and reach of IEEE standards. And the IEEE Standards Industry Connections program (which enables pre-standards activities) is looking to establish the first layer of trust for blended subjects including augmented reality applications in the oil and gas industries and ethical considerations in the design of autonomous systems.
So as we celebrate this year’s World Standards Day, take a moment to appreciate the trust in our tools and technologies that standards bring. IEEE helps to enhance that reliability through its standards for technologies we use in our everyday lives.
Nielsen is global operations and outreach program director at the IEEE Standards Association.