The global wearable smart gadget market is forecast to surge to $150 billion in 2026.
It is important to gain an upper hand in the global market through international standardization as wearable smart gadgets emerge as a promising future industry. In this regard, the government has taken the initiative in the standardization of wearable electronic devices and technologies. Suggested by Korea, the inaugural general meeting of the International Electrontechnical Commission (IEC)/TC 124 on wearable electronic and technologies took place at the Seoul Sheraton Walker Hill Hotel on Sept. 18.
In 2014, Korea proposed the establishment of a new committee on wearable electronic and technologies.
The Standardization Management Board (SMB) of the IEC held the 158th meeting in Mexico in February 2017 to approve the establishment of the IEC/TC 124 and select Korea as lead shepherd of the committee. The IEC/TC 124 is the second technology committee of the IEC established with an initiative by Korea following the IEC/TC119 on dashboards.
The 14 member countries of the IEC/TC 124 are Germany, the United States, Japan, UK, Finland, France, Denmark, Belgium, India, Italia, Canada, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Korea. Six other countries, including Australia, Poland and Czech Republic are associate members.
Some 50 Korean and foreign experts, including ones from France, the United States, Japan, and China, participated in the inaugural meeting of the IEC/TC 124. Participants shared technology trends on the first day tutorial session, including technologies on flexible and transparent materials as well as E-textile prior to the inaugural meeting. Korea, as the lead shepherd country, submitted proposals on five new global standards, including how to measure low temperature burns.
The event, which lasted through Sept. 20, was hosted by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) under the umbrella of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Korea Display Industry Association (KDIA).
The IEC/TC 124 projects the wearable smart gadget industry to gain momentum for growth through standardization. Wearable smart devices are common for health care. They use body information as well as VR and AR, and they are expected to be expanded to cover training and production. The market survey institution IDTechEx predicted that the wearable smart device market will surge from about $30 billion (169 trillion won) in 2015 to about $150 billion in 2026.
Chairman Shuji Hirakawa of the IEC/TC124 Committee said the standardizing of wearable smart gadgets will enable the evaluation of human body safety, so users can use wearables with ease.
MOTIE Vice Minister Lee In-ho said in a column that Korea needs to secure the safety and reliability of wearable smart devices in accordance with global standards and command the global market to help the Korean wearable smart device market take an upper hand as its future growth engine.
Korea is expected to pursue the standardization of the E-Textile, a core technology for wearable smart devices, safety and reliability of wearable smart gadgets and related technologies through the IEC/TC124 Committee. Standardization is an important keyword that hinges on the success or failure of businesses, and it serves as a kind of highway for industry development, said Vice Minister Lee, adding that Korean companies are encouraged to proactively participate in the standardization and utilize standards as a means to help the Korean electronics industry safeguard the No. 1 position in the world.