ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Industry Connections, Proactively Driving Standards into New Territory
“At the start, our program offered a platform for collaboration to participants that were just starting to think about standards, but not quite ready to move into the formal standards process,” says Rudi Schubert, Director of New Opportunities Development at IEEE Standards Association.
Today, the Industry Connections Program is increasingly proactive in promoting the idea of standardization as an important and beneficial step for advancing new technologies quickly. “We look at emerging technology fields, like smart materials, that may provide the next generation of standards. So we go out and find leaders and build an ecosystem of participants who’d be interested in driving it.”
There are over twenty different programs right now in Industry Connections, focused on everything from augmented and virtual reality to the issues involved with a world of Big Data, to the ambitious (and decidedly science fiction-sounding) “Brain Initiative” - looking at technologies that interact directly with the human brain. “There are always interesting conversations going on about new technologies, but for us the question is, are they leading towards the need to initiate standards activities?” Schubert says, “That’s the key—what are the outputs that will be tangible and relevant to the standards community.”
Some of these programs may sound futuristic, but it’s a future that’s not only close at hand but real-world practical. One example is 3-D body processing. The idea that each of us might walk around with a full 3-D model of our bodies is intriguing to many industries. For retailers, it could mean the ability to better market for individual physiology and preferences, improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs associated with returns. For medical or fitness providers, it means the ability to precisely tailor services to the individual’s real physical condition.
Beyond the application of new technologies, Industry Connections is also looking at the application of technologies in various territories around the world, with a particular focus on Asia. In highly industrialized countries, a focus is on robotics and green power, while for a rapidly-industrializing country it may be smart cities. “Many places are striving to develop themselves as smart cities,” says Schubert. “But what are the metrics? How do you measure how smart a city is? You have to answer that to help make informed decisions on investments and priorities.”
Learn more about IEEE Standards Association’s Industry Connections Program.