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 Friday, June 20, 2008

A new ITU-T standard unifies identification schemes used for example in multimedia mobile applications. Currently no uniform way exists to reconcile the many different ID schemes in place now, or to be defined.

The standard - Rec. ITU-T X.668 - concentrates on what it calls tag-based applications and services. This description includes RFID and bar code 'tags'. The standard allows the referencing of schemes using the object identifier (OID) system which ITU-T and ISO/IEC developed in the 1980s and widely deployed, for example, in e-commerce applications.

The introduction of this standard will not cause existing tags to become obsolete. Given deployment of the standard, a tag placed on a billboard poster can be read with a mobile phone and make it easy for the user to get additional multimedia (text, graphics, even voice or video) information about the content of the poster.

ITU-T X.668 is the first and key stage in the standardization process with the next work focussing on specifications of the system and protocol that will associate the multimedia information to an ID (a.k.a. ID resolving).

Technically, this Recommendation (also published as an equivalent ISO/IEC International Standard) specifies the information and justification to be provided when requesting an OID for identification schemes for tag-based applications and services, and the procedures for the operation of the Registration Authority (see here). It was jointly authored by experts from ITU-T Study Groups 17 (with input from SG 13 and SG 16) and ISO/IEC. The original drive for the work came from Korea's Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI).

Friday, June 20, 2008 3:52:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When you enter a modern office building, such as ITU-T’s office in Geneva, it is quite common for the glass doors to open automatically and for lights to come on as you enter a darkened room. This “magic” is achieved by motion sensors. But entering a building in the future, you might be welcomed by name with a personal greeting and given security access suitable to your status (e.g., employee, delegate, newcomer). To do this without human intervention would require not only intelligent sensors but also perhaps ID tags and readers and interaction with a database.

In a new Technology Watch briefing report from ITU-T, the term “Ubiquitous Sensor Networks” (USN) is used to describe networks of intelligent sensor nodes that could be deployed “anywhere, anytime, by anyone and anything”. The technology has huge potential as it could generate applications in a wide range of civilian and military fields, including ensuring safety and security, environment and habitat monitoring, real-time healthcare, landmine detection and intelligent transport systems (ITS).

Sensor nodes may vary enormously in size, cost and complexity. Their characteristics are highly application-specific. Depending on the sensor type, the links between sensors may be provided by either wired or wireless communication. Energy-efficient operation is an important requirement for scenarios where sensor nodes are deployed in hazardous or inaccessible environments.

The variability of USN poses a challenge to researchers and a number of different standards development organizations (SDOs) are already engaged int this field. Within ITU-T, USN standardization is being carried out under the auspices of the Next-Generation Network Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI). The new report, the fourth in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports, describes the different components of USN, notes the standardization work currently going on in ITU-T, and gives an overview of the different fields of applications of USN in both, developed and developing countries.

Download Technology Watch report on Ubiquitous Sensor Networks

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 10:28:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 23, 2007

A new report from ITU-T shows how Information and communications technologies (ICTs) contribute to global warming, but also how they can be used to monitor climate change, to mitigate its effects, to improve energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions in other sectors of the economy. The report -- ICTs and Climate Change -- is the third in the new series of Technology Watch Briefing Reports, launched by ITU-T in October 2007. It has been submitted to TSAG for further discussion at its upcoming meeting, 3-7 December. It is planned that an ITU symposium on this topic will be held in 2008.

Since 1970, the production of greenhouse gases has risen by more than 70 per cent, and this is having a global effect in warming the planet, causing changing weather patterns, rising sea-levels, desertification, shrinking ice cover and other worrying long-term effects. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) foresees a further rise in average global temperatures of between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees centigrade by 2030. Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the ICT sector. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this share is set to grow as usage of ICTs expands globally, growing at a faster rate than the general economy.

ICTs are thus part of the cause of global warming, but they can also be part of the solution, for instance through the promotion of carbon displacement technologies. ICTs are also vital in monitoring the spread of global warming. One specific contribution ICTs can make is through the substitution of travel by electronic forms of communication, such as telephone calls, email or video-conferencing, all of which benefit from ITU-T¡¯s standardization work. In particular, high-performance video-conferencing, or telepresence (the topic of the second Technology Watch Briefing Report), can give the impression of 'being there, without going there'. Furthermore, ITU-T itself is also contributing to a greener future through its decision to make ITU-T Recommendations freely available online. In the mid 1990s, more than one million publications were printed by ITU but, with free Recommendations now available in electronic form, this has been cut to just a few thousand that are still printed, and carbon emissions from transport of printed copies and CD-ROMs has been greatly reduced.

Friday, November 23, 2007 2:16:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Joint Coordination Activity on Network Aspects of Identification Systems (including RFID) (JCA-NID) had its first meeting 19-21 September.

The newly established group aims to foster relationships with related standards bodies working in the field in order to exchange information, and – through co-ordination and close working relationships – avoid proliferation of incompatible standards and duplication of work.

The group’s work is currently focused on providing high-level specifications that are always the first step in any standardization work. Key are a roadmap document outlining the order for standards work in the field, a high level requirements document and a generic architectural model. These will be developed as deliverables for eventual input into ITU-T Study Group system.

Meeting attendees agreed to distribute an invitation to relevant groups to inform them of the JCA-NID’s activities and ask them to each identify a coordinator.

A proposal for the next meeting, 25 February 2007, looks set to be adopted.

 

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:14:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 05, 2006

As part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of ITU-T, you are invited to vote for the most influential standards work from ITU-T.

ITU work is behind many of the worlds most prevalent information and communications technologies. Choose here from our shortlist which you think has best shaped the ICT world of today, or feel free to suggest your own idea.

 

 

Monday, June 05, 2006 8:05:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 24, 2006

"ITU can play an important role in furthering international standardization efforts (for networked RFID) in addition to raising awareness about the challenges and opportunities of this exciting new technology." That was a conclusion of attendees representing standards bodies, telecoms service providers, vendors and academia at a recent workshop Networked RFID: Systems and Services.

Participants agreed that standardization in the field is essential in order to roll out the technology on a global scale. Experts agree that standards so far have developed in a fragmented way; one example is the to-date weak coordination between different regional bodies. Event steering committee chairman, Pierre-Andre Probst, said that many new work areas have been identified for ITU as a result of the workshop, giving further momentum to work already started in some ITU-T Study Groups. Contributions on RFID are expected in the Study Group meetings taking place in April (Korea, Switzerland and Japan) and based on the outcome of discussions here an action plan will be developed in May.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a key part of the so-called Internet of Things, or as one session chair put it: "RFID is part of a larger vision of future technological ubiquity".

Object-to-object communication has the potential to revolutionise commerce, with many areas of business already benefiting from the use of RFID. But there are wide ranging applications for this new technology beyond just making money. For example in Japan there have been trials to use RFID to track children on the way to school, making sure they get safely to their destination. In European ski resorts, RFID ensures that skiers don't have to fish around in their pockets with cold hands for their ski passes now that RFID equipped passes have become widely adopted. A more serious upshot of this application is that now resort managers know how many people are on the slopes at any given time, crucial information in an emergency.

As the technology takes off, increasingly complicated applications are envisaged. RFID systems are moving from closed reader and tag systems to systems where there is a need for a network to share data. While now incipient, presenters at the workshop forecast that the message traffic will increase exponentially over the next 10 years, which will have an impact on existing and future communication infrastructure. And this is where the need for standards becomes more of an imperative.

The 'Internet of things' it was said will lead to a new set of network requirements and capabilities as potentially billions of tags start to transmit data. Network requirements and capabilities for more-complicated services that include sensors must also be taken into account. Sensors can monitor environmental variables. Their combination with RFIDs will not only identify people or objects, but also provide in addition to location other dynamic attributes such as temperature, movement and acceleration.

Specifically ITU expects to examine network and service architecture, requirements for machine-to-machine communication, security, information service protocols, interoperability, data format, radio frequency spectrum allocation, network performance and quality of service in its technical study groups.

As far as security is concerned, consumer protection, namely privacy and data protection, has hindered user acceptance and so addressing this area is seen as a prerequisite for public acceptance. ITU has much experience in this field, particularly in the important area of alignment with policy and regulatory issues.

Global frequency harmonization is a hindrance according to some experts towards achieving supply chain efficiencies and security. This is a topic expected to be raised at the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), Geneva, 2007, and workshop participants suggested the need to establish RFID as a Primary Service.

ITU is also expected to help coordinate ongoing standards work in the field in order to avoid work duplication. Among the groups operating in the area are ISO, ETSI, IEEE, EPCglobal and Near Field Communication Forum.

For more on RFID; ITU-T's Technology Watch, ITU's Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) report, the Internet of Things). All presentations and an audio archive of the event are also available.

Friday, February 24, 2006 4:29:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

If you are unable to attend the upcoming ITU-T workshop, Networked RFID: Systems and Services, you may be interested to know that a live audio webcast will be made available. The recording will also be available after the event in archive.

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:29:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dear colleagues,
 
In accordance with the future activities of the correspondence group on network aspects of identification (including RFID) approved by TSAG, I would like to inform you that an informal meeting of ITU-T experts attending the RFID workshop will be held on 16 February 2006 in Geneva to review the results of the workshop from an ITU-T perspective, and contribute to the further development of the Correspondence Groups deliverables. The venue of the informal meeting is room K1 at Montbrillant Building. The meeting will open at 0930 hours and be closed by 1700 hours. We will have a paperless meeting. Please find the draft agenda attached.
 
Participants are encouraged to submit contributions by electronic mail to the TSAG RFID email reflector. The contributions must be submitted by not later than 6 February 2006.
 
For your information, I would like to summarize the results of the last TSAG meeting (November 2005) relevant to our correspondence group.
 
Firstly, TSAG approved continuation of the correspondence group on RFID, to be renamed the “Correspondence Group on network aspects of identification (including RFID)” (Convenor: Mr. Byoung Nam Lee, ETRI, Republic of Korea). The revised terms of reference are as follows:

  • To Further evaluate of the ITU-T standardization topics and requirements for network aspects of identification (including RFID) taking into account the studies performed by ITU-R and other SDOs;
  • To report results on discussions and to propose to TSAG a possible structure for carrying out network aspects of identification (including RFID) studies within ITU-T.

Secondly, TSAG approved the appointment of editors for RIFD deliverables with the following terms of reference:

  • Report of standardization issues on network aspects of identification (including RFID): (Mr Yong-Woon Kim(Korea), Mr. Noboru Koshizuka(Japan))
  • Report for Business Models and Service Scenarios for network aspects of identification (including RFID): (Mr. Y.Sakurai, Hitachi(Japan), Mr HyoungJun Kim(Korea))
  • A collection of Terms and Definitions related to network aspects of identification (including RFID): (Mr Tony Rutkowski, Verisign USA)

The intermediary deliverables will be available before the RFID Workshop on 14-15 February 2006 for reviewing after the Workshop. The final deliverables will be presented at the next TSAG meeting.

Lastly, the correspondence group produced a first list of RFID relevant topics with a possible allocation to ITU-T Study Groups which was conveyed to the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the RFID Workshop, Mr. Probst, Chairman of SG16, to consider this tentative list of standardization topics and as a result of the workshop provide us with information on any additional topics or modification proposed to the list.

Byoung Nam Lee
Convener

Join the Correspondence group on RFID

More on ITU-T Technology Watch

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 5:40:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 22, 2005

ITU-T is hosting a workshop Networked RFID: Systems and Services, in collaboration with ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU), Geneva, 14-15 February 2006.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is the much-touted system that enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. The development of RFID systems creates new possibilities for the support of object-to-object communications. Analysts predict that RFID will revolutionize areas of industry including supply chain management, security and mobile telecommunication services. Additionally, RFID is expected to play an important role in the realization of the Ubiquitous Network Society. All this will create a yet unquantified demand on telecommunication networks.

Currently, the market for RFID standards is extremely fragmented. Special standards for certain limited fields of applications exist as well as quasi-proprietary or proprietary standards. Many RFID applications still lack global standards for data formats, compatibility, interoperability, interference problems, personal information protection, authentication, key management and others. More.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:34:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Many experts are suggesting that we are at the beginning of an era of 'technological ubiquity'. In terms of information and communications technologies (ICT) the mobile phone is the device that has come closest to achieving ubiquity. But, it is the diffusion of mobile phones together with the rapid technological progress of the past 30 years which has seen the doubling of microprocessor power every 18 months, the availability of very fast, small and cheap computers and the rise of the Internet which is seen as the real foundation of technological ubiquity.

And in the near future, microcomputers that are invisible to the human eye and that are embedded in everything from cars, pencils, clothes and banknotes are foreseen. These electronic devices could be networked together enabling an environment of smart networked objects. This environment will take advantage of short-range communications technologies such as Bluetooth and radio frequency identification (RFID), which could be integrated into mobile phones. Exploiting the identification, localization and monitoring functionalities of these technologies will create a range of possibilities enabling innovative new products and services. In turn, as these smart objects communicate with each other, this will result in an increase in data traffic, market growth and increased profit.

International collaboration between standardization bodies is crucial in the realization of this goal. Without international standards interoperability will be difficult if not impossible and these bodies are also in the best position to establish rules to guarantee the privacy of users. Ubiquitous applications must be linked to trusted mechanisms that ensure privacy in order to be successful.

ITU-T aims to encourage industry, academia and international institutions to participate in the Technology Watch Correspondence Groups where they will find a common platform to share views, ideas and needs to stimulate discussion and kick-start work.

More on ITU-T's Technology Watch

 

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:06:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 02, 2005

In the framework of its Technology Watch activities, ITU-T has recently published a technical paper on radio frequency identification (RFID) and opportunities for its use in mobile telecommunication services. RFID enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. It is only recently that the technology has begun to take off in the mass market. Analysts predict that RFID will revolutionize areas of industry, such as supply chain management and the retail business, for example by reducing costs with better stock management. The technical paper presents several ideas for applications of RFID technology in mobile telecommunication services as well as possible areas for standardization efforts. Apart from purely technical concepts, the challenging aspects of security and privacy are discussed. A PowerPoint presentation of the paper is also available.

ITU-T recently set up a correspondence group on RFID in the framework of its Technology Watch and a dedicated e-mail reflector on the matter for initiating studies on the technology. Additionally, ITU-T is to hold a workshop on RFID standardization issues in the first quarter of 2006.

Thursday, June 02, 2005 9:50:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 16, 2005

March’s meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) agreed on the terms of reference for a new group to monitor academia, industry, research institutes and other SDOs to identify new subjects for study by ITU-T. 

To begin with the Technology Watch will use mainly electronic working methods to stimulate discussion, gather information and generate contributions for new work items.

One of the first topics that the group will examine are the network aspects of radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID is the much-touted system that enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. 

Grid Computing is another area that is being examined for future standardization needs. Grid computing offers a model for solving massive computational problems by making use of the unused resources of large numbers of disparate computers treated as a virtual cluster embedded in a distributed telecommunications infrastructure.

Monday, May 16, 2005 4:31:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |