Corporate Standards Focus
  • IEEE 56™ (PE/EM) IEEE Draft Guide for Insulation Maintenance of Electric Machines
  • IEEE 802.3bn™ (C/LM) IEEE Draft Standard for Ethernet - Amendment: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for Ethernet Passive Optical Networks Protocol over Coax
  • IEEE 1819™ (PE/NPE) IEEE Draft Standard for Risk-Informed Categorization and Treatment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment at Nuclear Power Generating Stations and Other Nuclear Facilities
  • IEEE 1898™ (BOG/CAG) IEEE Draft Standard for High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Composite Post Insulators
  • IEEE 11073-20702™ (EMB/11073) IEEE Draft Standard for Medical Devices Communication Profile for Web Services
  • IEEE C37.20.10™ (PE/SWG) IEEE Draft Standard for Definitions for AC (52 kV and Below) and DC (3.2 kV and Below) Switchgear Assemblies
  • IEEE 802.15.4u™ (C/LM) IEEE Draft Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks - Part 15.4: Low-Rate Wireless Personal Area Networks (LR-WPANs) Amendment for Use of the 865-867 MHz Band in India
  • IEEE 802.3bz™ (C/LM) IEEE Draft Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s Operation
  • IEEE 1849™ (CIS/SC) IEEE Draft Standard for XES - eXtensible Event Stream - For Achieving Interoperability in Event Logs and Event Streams
  • IEEE 1858™ (BOG/CAG) IEEE Draft Standard for Camera Phone Image Quality (CPIQ)
  • IEEE 11073-10427™ (EMB/11073) IEEE Draft Health Informatics - Personal Health Device Communication - Part 10427: Device Specialization - Power Status Monitor of Personal Health Devices
  • IEEE 29119-5™ (C/S2ESC) ISO/IEC/IEEE Draft International Standard - Software and Systems Engineering - Software Testing - Part 5: Keyword-Driven Testing
  • IEEE C37.42™ (PE/SWG) IEEE Draft Standard Specifications for High-Voltage (>1000 V) Fuses and Accessories
  • IEEE C62.42.1™ (PE/SPDLV) IEEE Draft Guide for the Application of Surge-Protective Components in Surge Protective Devices and Equipment Ports - Part 1 Gas Discharge Tubes (GDTs)




Advancement of the Internet of Things Reaches Around the Planet

The Internet of Things is advancing in many ways—in new technologies, in multiple verticals, in governmental and public acceptance. “It’s part and parcel of every major industry and every engineering sector,” says IEEE Standards Association’s Sri Chandra. “There’s medical IoT, you have the smart grid built on IoT.” So for IEEE, in each of these areas “the question is, how we can bring it to standards.”

“The life cycle for technology begins with implementation, a technology will have a few players who are developing proprietary systems,” explain Chandra. “Then there’s the realization that the only way to get to global markets is to standardize it.”

That’s where IEEE enters the picture. “We look for evidence that there’s not only hype, but actual manufacturing of the technology going on,” he says. By definition, any IoT product deals with complicated large-scale factors such as connectivity, security, and privacy, so standardization at that point is essential “so when the platform is released, it can operate in the larger system. We want all the key players to collaborate on it, and understand that they will benefit by bringing value at the application level, not by creating a closed platform.”

Fortunately, that’s increasingly well-recognized; one thing Chandra points to is that where researchers in academia used to pay little attention to standards, “today incubators for startups see a need to play in the standards realm, to make sure their products are relevant.”

To bring standards into the thinking about new IoT technologies, IEEE holds a variety of events throughout the year. One of the biggest was just held in Grenoble, France in late October: The Internet of Things Planet International Trade Show, which featured forums led by speakers and participants from Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IoTecha, Rio Tinto, and many others. Another key event, the 3rd annual World Forum on IoT will take place in December in Reston, Virginia. But in fact there are events, visible on IEEE’s IoT events calendar, multiple times each month in locations from the U.S. to Europe to China and India, reflecting the truly global nature of IoT.

And as a matter of global interest, IoT is also an important area for education of government and regulators. “We are focused not only toward industry but toward policy makers, helping guide the role of policy in many different regions toward important concerns such as security and privacy,” explains Chandra.

Learn more about IEEE 2413, Architecture for Internet of Things or get involved


Virtual Workshop Spreads Possibilities for Blockchain Technology

Bitcoin was the hot concept at first—the idea of virtual currency. But in time “there was a realization that the underlying technology under Bitcoin had a lot of value of its own,” says IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA)’s Alpesh Shah. Shah calls Blockchain technology “the plumbing”—the way Bitcoin dealt with issues of identity, trust, privacy, security and incentivizing to assure people that the virtual currency someone claimed was also real. Bitcoin’s approach to all these questions could translate to a variety of other areas like health care, energy, and agriculture, and even be an alternative to how the internet itself functions.

Blockchain technology offers assurance about the reliability of data while preserving the ability of the owner of that data to control the degree to which others have access to that data. Health care is a natural area to explore the possibilities, with inherent concerns of privacy and security and in an industry where there’s rapid change afoot, from the changes in insurance under the U.S. Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) to the growth of devices producing constant streams of data. “Blockchain technology has the ability to put more balance in the ownership of data, and give the patient control and the doctor accountability. Ultimately it offers a strong ability to change the economics of one of the most wasteful industries there is,” says Shah.

He gives the example of a pharmaceutical company conducting a study. “Right now, the way they look for patients to study and gather data is pretty crude,” he says. They have to advertise for patients, whose self-reporting may or may not be that accurate. “But suppose you could opt in to a study where you’d give them much more detailed data from devices that’s completely anonymized, and in return you get incentivized in various ways, such as the opportunity to have new treatments sooner.”

That’s just one example, and Shah stresses that “we are very much in the early stages of Blockchain technology, and the idea that there will only be one version of Blockchain is off.” That’s why IEEE SA has been pursuing ways of giving those interested in its possibilities the opportunity to explore it. “Blockchain shares DNA with IEEE, in that both are grounded in the idea of consensus, and it’s a technology that cuts across our societies and membership.”

For a company interested in health care Blockchain, “normally you’d go out and hire an expert who says he has the right strategy,” Shah says. “But it’s too early to be an expert. You need a way to allow people to learn and grow.” So for a month beginning 22 September, IEEE SA sponsored a Virtual Workshop called “Advancing Healthtech for Humanity,” in which companies interested in Blockchain could network and experiment with different ways of working with it.

“It was really an introduction to the technology and how to write code for it, and an opportunity to see what the others have,” says Shah. “Ultimately it offers a strong ability to change the economics of the healthcare industry.”

Check out the IEEE Blockchain website.

Networking with the Rock Stars of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is often talked about as if it’s off in the future, but Walter Pienciak of IEEE Standards Association says it’s a mistake to view it that way. Take Uber, whose Danny Lange spoke at the Rock Stars of Emerging Technology event focused on AI at the beginning of November. “Uber is doing innovative stuff with machine learning right now. They’re making money on this technology right now,” he says. “That’s a message that hasn’t gotten out there enough.”

Pienciak described both the speakers and the audience at the event as “a pretty broad group of people, a mix of technology practitioners and executives. They were all looking for an opportunity to find out what some of the leaders are doing.” Such as Siemens, whose turbine division is using predictive learning to improve how they schedule things to bring new turbines on line. “Again, that’s a company that’s using AI to save real money in fuel costs and other areas,” he says.

He points to two panels in particular as showing how this event brought what’s happening in the field of AI to a wider audience. One was a panel including Atakan Cetinsoy, vice president of predictive applications at BigML, one of the event’s co-sponsors, who directed audience members to their online tool for experimenting with predictive learning applications. “Google has put technology out there, but you have to download and install it, which is a little more daunting,” Pienciak says. “Just making it available to play with on a website is more inviting, and got a lot of interest.”

Another was Sven Crone, an academic in forecasting and data mining at Lancaster University in the U.K. At the end of the event, “the networking was fierce,” Pienciak says. “Here’s Sven Crone, who was basically unknown to this audience prior to the event, and after his presentation he’s got a crowd around him, and arms shoving business cards through the crowd at him. People were clearly coming to this event to make connections in this field.”

Check out future IEEE Rock Star events 

Brain Initiative Looking at How Technology Can Speed Brain Research

Technology is bringing us devices that work directly with the brain, or give us better insights into its function. That’s why IEEE has launched the Brain Initiative, to explore these technologies. “It’s in the infancy stage, so we held a full-day workshop to see where standards can help with neural technology,” says IEEE Standards Association’s Bill Ash.

Ash sees a number of directions for standardization here, including data nomenclature, data management and sharing, and sensor technologies. These are important because the technology is already making its way into the world in everything from control systems for exoskeletons to video gaming.

“How can we gather data from existing devices in a meaningful way for research?” Ash asks. “Can we figure out some methodology to leverage this dataset, and perform analytics?”

A wide range of players in government, industry and academia have joined the initiative, and a neural technology subcommittee is being formed under the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society of IEEE. Ash says that the initiative has a close partnership with the National Institutes of Health to see how they can work together, and one of the first projects, spearheaded by Drexel University, is to come up with a standard for timestamping on neural imaging.

“The big lofty goals are to bring down the cost of devices, to allow data to be exchanged seamlessly, and to allow industry and research to make use of that data,” Ash says. One avenue to that goal involves the use of this same technology in a consumer application: gaming. “We’re seeing EEG headsets being used for gaming, and virtual reality in that space,” he says. “If we can make use of the same technology while meeting medical requirements, we can reduce costs.”

Learn more about the Brain Initiative. 


Augmented Reality (AR) Workshop Looks at Value of Thinking Outside Your Bubble

We heard it throughout the U.S. political season—that the fragmentation of media and the ability to tailor social media to your narrow interests meant that you need never entertain a contrary viewpoint again. Even on Facebook or Twitter, that’s probably not true yet. (We all have that aunt or uncle who just has to share the latest thing he or she read.) But it is a real concern about an age of highly individualized media.

“If everything is online, and we’re all having customized experiences, is growth possible?” asks IEEE Standards Association’s Noelle Humenick. “Growth comes from new ideas, and it’s a problem for anyone who cares about humanity if we become too good at keeping them out.”

A webinar called “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Suburbanization of the Mind” looked at these issues in terms of the coming technology of augmented reality, in a presentation by IEEE-SA’s director of innovation, Jay Iorio, and the Netherlands-based educational technologist, academic, and digital artist BC Biermann.

Over the next generation, much of day-to-day life--from work to socializing to health, shopping, and entertainment--will take place in a world that is at least partly synthetic, and customized by the AR experience to an unparalleled extent. The marketplace might produce a software-mediated world in which we see, hear, and experience only what we want to.

Yet the unknown, the surprising, the annoying, and the offensive are all as crucial to human interaction and growth as the parts of life we prefer. So how can that human need be programmed into AI systems? 

This webinar was held exclusively for our membership on October 11. You can also enjoy a private viewing of this webinar here until January 31, 2017. 
View Webinar


3D Imaging Webinar Spotlights Partnership Opportunities in Medical Imaging

Imagine if your doctor could examine the effects of medical procedures on you—by practicing first on an accurate 3D model of your body on his handheld device. That’s the technology project that Dr. Young L. Moon is leading at Chosun University Hospital in Korea, and that was the subject of a 3D Imaging Webinar in September designed to help spread awareness of the technology to potential partners in related fields.

3D imaging has many applications in the medical field, from diagnosis to helping the patient better understand treatments, and because of that, Dr. Moon says he’s actively looking for other IEEE members to work with. “We need more IEEE-based members,” he says. “We want to work with members who can develop technology using 3D medical imaging in engineering, manufacturing, and research.”

3D printing is a particular interest for Dr. Moon as there’s an obvious synergy between accurate 3D imaging and 3D printing. “Medical printing is based on human modeling. If they get it a little wrong, it can be a serious problem,” Dr. Moon says. “We need to capture accurate data from the patient in terms of size and specific structure to achieve the desired result through 3D printing.”

IEEE Standards Association and the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society co-sponsored the webinar and Dr. Moon considers it a success. “It was very helpful for sharing our idea,” he says.

View the webinar

Learn about the project in development:

Ethernet & IP in Automotive Technology Conference Highlights the Internet on Wheels

Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint the first leap that starts a technology. For the use of internet technology in cars, it was BMW’s decision around 2009 to use Ethernet in their automobiles. In 2011 they launched BMW Automotive Internet Technology Day to give manufacturers and vendors a chance to share ideas about how internet technology and smart roads could transform driving in the future.

BMW’s Kirsten Matheus, who launched the event five years ago, says the goal was not only to bring interested parties together to share information, but “to shape the future—to start new thought processes on ideas the industry has to unite on, in order to move forward. This can only happen when people meet face-to-face and can freely talk about concerns, and when a variety of different stakeholders is present that represent the different interests in the market.”

The conference has grown and in 2014 BMW approached IEEE, as the body that drove Ethernet’s development and acceptance as a standard, about managing and serving as the neutral backer of the industry-wide event. September 2016 brought IEEE SA Ethernet & IP @ Automotive Technology Day to Paris, hosted by Groupe Renault. Renault’s Jose Villanueva explains their interest in the event: “As the automotive industry adopts the autonomous vehicle and creates the connected car, it needs to embrace new standard technologies. Automotive Ethernet-based architecture will help provide a lot of these features and benefits.”

“Being host of this exciting event for the first time in France, has been an honor for Renault,” says Villaneuva. “The goal was to advance the ecosystem of local companies and engineers mastering the technologies.”

He cites three aspects of the conference that he felt were particularly informative and valuable. “A panel discussion about lower and higher speed grades of Ethernet for automobiles set the roadmap of in-vehicle Ethernet for the next decade,” Villanueva explains. “Several presentations also introduced new applications of automotive Ethernet, and offered trends and solutions for network configuration. And last but not least, the exhibition hall with around 30 booths provided a great opportunity to experience Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), the newest Ethernet technology for real-time communication.”

SunSpec Brings Standardized Data to New Energy Technologies

New energy technologies such as solar and wind power produce data in different ways from centralized power generation systems like coal or nuclear power. Yet because they’re distributed across a wider area, accurate data about their production and status is even more important to utilities and regulators. The SunSpec Alliance is an industry alliance working with utilities, manufacturers and government to help standardize the data from distributed energy resources. We spoke with SunSpec chairman Tom Tansy about their efforts and how IEEE Standards Association has been part of it.

The SunSpec Alliance works in the distributed energy resource space. Tell us what that is and what you do.

To understand what distributed energy is, start by understanding the opposite—centralized energy, which is a coal plant or a natural gas plant or a nuclear power plant that’s connected to the transmission grid.

Distributed energy is a form of generation that’s attached directly to the distribution grid. It’s basically synonymous with solar and wind power, though there are a few other kinds.

The issue is that a modern grid can’t run without data communication. Utilities have perfect information about centralized plants, but solar is located on people’s rooftops, that kind of thing. So they don’t have a very good picture of whether they’re switched on and available to draw on, or even still out there.

About ten years ago plant builders started putting communications out there as part of their installations, on an ad hoc basis. Seven years ago, SunSpec was created to help define communication standards and information models and protocols, so these plants could communicate with the grid. Now you’re starting to get the states mandating how the data will work. California and Hawaii are the first, and literally the state public utility commissions have determined that they can’t support rollout of the smart grid without this kind of information.

Describe how SunSpec works as an organization.

SunSpec is seven years old and has about 100 members and related business partners. We operate on a global basis and our standards have been adopted by regulators not only in California and Hawaii, as mentioned, but in countries like Denmark.

We work with all the major solar inverter equipment providers and collaborate with national labs all around the globe—Sandia, Argonne and others in the U.S., and with labs in Austria, Italy, Japan, Canada, Germany, and we just started working with Taiwan. We’re rolling out our technology to 26 countries involved in smart grid research.

We just recently won an award from the U.S. Department of Energy for what’s called the Orange Button initiative, to define data interchange standards to support financing and banking for distributed energy projects.

How does the financial industry connect to this?

Solar projects are financed in many ways, a loan, leasing, etc., but there’s almost always some kind of long term financing. And those investors want data. They want a general description of the asset, where it is, when it went into operation, who built it. The banks want to know that it’s still producing, any fault conditions that might impact what it’s producing. If it’s in a residential location, they want a creditor score, to know that the owner still has a job.

We want to make sure that there are standard formats for that data. A standard interchange format for data will reduce the cost of financing these projects.

How has IEEE been a part of this process?

IEEE has been part of several different aspects of it. Basically, we’re a developer of de facto standards—we evaluate the landscape, determine what the gaps in existing standards are, and we fill in the gaps that our members tell us about.

That means we work with groups like IEEE to improve the standards to reflect what our members are doing. We’re on the editing committee of IEEE 2030.5™, and one of our members is the chairman for IEEE 1547™.

The cadence of our work is on the order of one to two years. Our members are working on de facto standards that take, say, 9 to 12 months. The deployment phase is another year. By that time people are looking around saying, that should be a standard, and so we take that de facto standard into the IEEE standards process. As a trade alliance we can do this work for all our members at the same time.

What do you see as the benefit of allying with SunSpec for IEEE members?

Well, for those looking at the California market, you’re looking at compliance with IEEE 2030.5—and SunSpec contributed the core technology for distributed energy resources to that standard. So we’re experts, and we’re looking for other likeminded people who want to deploy this technology at scale.

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What Do You Think Are the Most Compelling Trends in Technology?

The best question in the standards process is nearly always “What do you think?,” and now we’re asking it, too. In each issue of Corporate Standards Focus we’re going to ask you for feedback to help us understand better how to serve you, and to pinpoint areas that you may not think we’re focusing on sufficiently. Here’s the first question: What do you think are the most compelling trends in technology? Or to put it other ways: Which are you most interested in reading about? What do you wish more people, including us, were talking about?

Drop us a line at We’ll randomly draw from the responses and send one respondent an IEEE tie or scarf!