i3 | June 28, 2021

Standards Address Emerging Technologies

Brian Markwalter

You probably know that CTA has worked with industry to drive innovation for decades, and you may have even celebrated this legacy at the 50th anniversary of CES in 2017. But did you know that CTA’s roots go back to 1924 with the founding of the Radio Manufacturers Association, and developing standards with industry has been part of CTA’s mission since the start?

There are three dynamic traits of CTA’s Technology & Standards program that reflect the vibrancy and importance of the consumer technology industry. They are the sheer breadth of CTA’s standards work; the power of combining CTA’s policy work, membership groups and standards programs; and the flexibility to tackle emerging technology while supporting established product categories.

These factors — policy topics and membership activities informing and being empowered by CTA’s standards work — have driven rapid growth. CTA has launched new efforts to develop and publish standards for artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR), accessibility, digital health and cybersecurity. The industry is determined to address needs in these market segments and stepped up to publish 15% more standards in 2020 than the prior year despite the duress and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. In fact, the industry responded directly to the pandemic by launching new standards projects for a vital signs toolkit and respiration monitoring solutions.

Proposals for new standards do not always come from standards insiders. Sometimes policy experts see an opening where industry-led standards offer a preferred solution over government mandates.

Proposals for new standards do not always come from standards insiders. Sometimes policy experts see an opening where industry-led standards offer a preferred solution over government mandates. Televisions draw a lot of regulatory scrutiny, including how much power they use. A prime example of the intersection of policy and standards is CTA’s facilitation of a milestone agreement between manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates to develop and promote a new TV energy measurement test method. That policy agreement, which intends to lead to voluntary energy use targets, triggered a project to revise CTA’s standard for determining TV power consumption.

CTA’s Technology & Standards Forum

CTA’s standards work anchors the semi-annual CTA Technology & Standards (T&S) Forum. These events feature informative sessions, networking opportunities and committee meetings. They’re important milestones where innovative thinkers from the consumer technology industry meet to discuss pressing issues and collaborate to solve them.

At the most recent Spring T&S Forum in early May, information sessions addressed future standards for digital therapeutics; mental health and the virtual care evolution; mitigating bias through inclusive design; the role of data in addressing public health emergencies; and combating deepfakes. Committee meetings covered AI, cybersecurity, digital health, streaming media, energy efficiency, XR and much more.

Since the pandemic started CTA’s Forums have been all-digital. The creativity and efficiency of in-person meetings has been sorely missed, but the convenience of an online event has allowed more people to participate in T&S Forums. We look forward to hosting the Fall T&S Forum, whether it is held online or in person, as it will be our capstone technical event for 2021 and preview important projects for 2022. Check out CTA.tech/events for the latest information on the T&S Forum and other CTA events.

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