Amazing drones

Their potential is enormous. But how can we put them to work for a better world?

While some may immediately think of the military when it comes to drones, these unmanned flying devices are making a difference in other sectors: they are helping farmers to check which fields need their attention, they can be used to protect and monitor large heritage sites, there is even talk that they will deliver goods ordered online.

We are only beginning to unravel their potential. But what does a proliferation of drones mean for air traffic around airports and residential areas? For some the answer has been to ban them completely, but this limits their commercial applications and how we can all benefit from them. Find out how international standards are helping solve security and compatibility issues to get drones working for a better world.


Devices that know where we go, who we know and how fast our heart beats. Should we be concerned?

Do you own a fitness tracker, smart watch or a GoPro? Are you interested in Google glasses or the Oculus rift? Would you try a computer-containing ingestible pill that monitors your health or a sweater that changes color according to your mood?

The era of wearables is here. But as much as it fascinates, it also raises a number of concerns. Voice activated devices basically listen to everything we say, step counters track where we go, and so on. What’s more worrying is that these tools often share our data (health, whereabouts, preferences, friends) with other devices (apps, websites).

How much do we, as users, know, or need to know about how are data is handled and what is done with it? Can International Standards help set down some rules?

3D printers

From human ears to cars, 3D printing is pushing the boundaries of what we can create.

It has given children a unique chance at affordable prosthetics. It’s changing the way we create anything from furniture to clothes, food and cars. It’s even changing us, as the medical industry investigates the printing of artificial organs to replace or even enhance our human bodies.

It’s real name is additive manufacturing (AM). These machines add layer after layer of materials (from powders to liquids) to make objects based on a computerized 3D model. Despite its many benefits, there are barriers to its wider application, among them, the lack of a supporting framework and industrial standards.

To compete with conventional manufacturing, AM needs standards to guarantee a level of reproducibility, and give business and manufacturers the much needed assurance that its processes, materials and technologies are safe and reliable.

New generation of robots

What if cyborgs were real? Partly robot, partly man. We are not talking science fiction anymore.

What if a robot could help a person in a wheelchair walk again? This is no science fiction. Cyberdyne, a Japanese robotics company, has designed an exoskeleton that can do just that, simply by sensing its user’s brain waves.

The device can also be used by any of us to gain super human strength. And this is just the beginning. Work is progressing on robots that can read our moods, have personalities or that are able to learn on their own. The technology may be there, but without standards setting safety boundaries and guidelines, few companies will leap into the unchartered territory of human-robot interaction.

The first cyborg

Connected cars

As the world’s roads fill up with more cars than ever before, the connected vehicle is reinventing how we drive.

With 87 million vehicles produced in 2013, the motor car has come a long way since its birth in 1886. Today, research into advanced technologies is revolutionizing the automotive world. Packed full of sensors, safety aids and remote monitoring devices, the vehicle of the future is gaining in sophistication and automation.

The connected car makes life easier for drivers, and ISO makes life easier for innovations like this one. Without international standards, interoperability and global integration of this technology would not be possible. For a preview of the new driving experience, let’s travel through this interactive infographic.

In the Cloud

Few innovations have generated as much hype, offered so much promise or been as widely embraced as Cloud computing.

Cloud computing is quite possibly the hottest, most discussed and often misunderstood concept in information technology today. For its users the Cloud can mean a more cost-effective use of resources, greater speed, computing power and capacity, convenience and flexibility. But for this technology to function, interoperability and compatibility across borders is essential. Quite simply, without standards, devices and servers on the Cloud would struggle to communicate.

In addition to terminology, architectural framework and security, standards are being developed for service agreement and data flow. Find out more about what’s next on Cloud computing!

What is cloud computing?

Why standards?

If you are still wondering why the most innovative companies rely on standards...

How do we protect people in uncharted territory? Without safety standards companies can be reluctant to invest into new research because of the risk that they cannot market their innovation.

How do we fit the "new" into the "existing"? Even the most innovative technology relies on standards to communicate and interoperate with existing technology. How do we put in place an infrastructure for innovation? When a new technology requires a wider infrastructure to operate, a standard helps disseminate it and ensure that it’s the same everywhere.