Our connected world

The internet of things (IoT) is part of daily life. Billions of connected, “sensorized” devices and systems, facilitate everyday activities and tasks, improve the efficiency of work processes, which saves time and money. For example, in healthcare, it can save lives and improve quality of life.

Cities and their infrastructures including transport, energy, buildings and homes are becoming smart, in order to boost energy efficiency and enhance how they function. The well-being of citizens and the economy both benefit from this.

Intelligent collaborative manufacturing systems enable businesses to respond in real time, to meet changing demands and conditions in factories, supply networks, and customer needs, while on the rural front, farmers can streamline crop and animal management, using smart phones and apps.

IoT is also changing how other industries work, such as automotive, healthcare, entertainment and retail.

Standardization helps achieve an effective, safe, reliable IoT, while enabling the creation of a global market.

The need for standards

The IoT is comprised of diverse and evolving technologies and stakeholders involved in a wide range of applications. For this reason, a minimum level of interoperability is necessary, to allow all the components to function rapidly and reliably, as they gather, exchange and analyse vast amounts of data. IoT will also facilitate the growth the IoT devices, systems and services market.

Against this backdrop, in 2016, JTC 1 established a new Subcommittee ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 41: Internet of Things and related technologies.

The main focus of SC 41 is to establish a standardization programme, and provide guidance to JTC 1, IEC, ISO and other entities developing IoT-related applications. Its scope also covers sensor networks and wearables technologies.

In addition to the Standards already published for sensor networks, SC 41 is developing base or horizontal Standards for IoT reference architecture, vocabulary, and interoperability. These can be used by industry and any application-related standardization technical committee, where IoT technology is used as an enabler. By ensuring consistency and avoiding duplication, businesses and manufacturers can save time, effort and money.

The work of SC 41

Countless applications use IoT technology. From entertainment, communicating and purchasing goods and services, to running appliances and systems (security, heating and lighting) in homes and cars (GPS location, weather, traffic, entertainment etc.), SC 41 scope includes:

Industrial IoT

Industrial IoT (IIoT) essentially refers to all IoT application domains excluding the home market. This includes advanced manufacturing, healthcare, precision agriculture, smart grids and energy management, etc.

Real time IoT

Many IoT systems must be able to react to events in real time. This is an attribute of a class of systems called Cyber-physical systems (CPS), which are key to applications such as advanced manufacturing and smart grids.


Whether the grid, a home, a medical wearable or vehicle infotainment, connected devices and systems must be protected from cyber threats, to ensure the safety of users and security of private data, and be safe, responsive, reliable, available and resilient.

IoT trustworthiness is a systems engineering concept that covers all the attributes involved in having stakeholders ‘trust’ and an IoT system.


Wearables refers to a class of IoT devices that are worn on or implanted in the body. While there are many applications for such devices, one of them is in healthcare:

Predictive maintenance for the human body involves processing all the data collected by sensors on or in the body and trying to predict conditions and events while looking at how the body reacts when it is moving (walking, running etc.). This data is then used to detect patterns and a condition that may be slowly developing. There are many possibilities in this area and there will be a number of work projects for the wearables group.

IEC IoT publications

Find here the latest white papers and briefing papers:

Edge Intelligence

IoT 2020: Smart and secure IoT platform

Internet of Things: Wireless Sensor Networks

IEC role in the IoT