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 Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The ITU-T group working on home networking specifications under the G.hn banner has agreed on some specifications for smart grid products. G.hn is a next generation wired home networking standard developed by ITU-T, which supports high-speed communication over power lines, phone lines and coaxial cable.

 

The recent agreement included a ‘low complexity’ profile targeted at smart grid applications. The profile offers a minimum set of G.hn parameters and specifications that define a specific system to meet a targeted range of applications.This will allow multiple manufacturers to develop products that deliver the low power consumption, low cost, performance, reliability, and security that is required for Smart Grid and other lower bit rate applications.

 

Additionally, the low complexity profile also specifies minimum requirements for features such as signal bandwidth, data modulation methods, transmitter linearity requirements, and forward error correction, or “FEC,” while maintaining interoperability with fully-featured G.hn products.

 

Some of the smart grid products that will benefit from G.hn specification include:

  • Smart Meters
  • In-Home Displays and smart thermostats
  • Plug-in Electrical Vehicles and Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • Smart household appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems
  • Energy System Interface devices

Smart grid applications that will benefit from G.hn include:

  • Utility-based Demand Response programs via broadband internet connections or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems
  • Remote troubleshooting to minimize cost
  • Support for realtime demand response systems that compensate users depending on their usage
  • Flexible control of appliances to reduce power consumption during peak periods


Also agreed was an Appendix to the G.hn standard that provides guidelines for using G.hn in smart grid applications and on how they work with other G.hn-connected consumer devices in the home. The Appendix provides guidance to G.hn product developers and users and describes how G.hn devices can be used as part of application layer Energy Management System software that resides above the G.hn physical layer and data link layer. Additionally, the appendix shows how G.hn smart grid devices interface to a service provider's smart grid access network via the Energy Service interface to support secure end-to-end smart grid services between the service provider and home.

 

In October, HomeGrid Forum, an independent body set up to promote G.hn announced that the standard has received approval from the National Institute Standards Technology (NIST) for use in various smart grid applications in the US. Given this announcement, HomeGrid Forum formed a smart grid initiative group, which will help to bring a range of G.hn-based devices to the smart grid market and home energy management applications.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:48:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Measuring and Reducing the Standards Gap is a new report introducing the ITU-T's current research project on building standards capacity in the developing world.

 

The document authored by Dr. Laura DeNardis, Executive Director, Yale Information Society Project and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School presents country case studies that answer questions such as; is there a national standards body; is there any participation in international standards development and what level of standards education is available? Based on these case studies it recommends actionable steps for improving national standards capacity in the developing world.

 

Inequality in national standards capability continues to be a contributive factor to the persistence of the digital divide between the developed and developing worlds and to diminished opportunities for economic development and technological innovation.

 

The overarching goal of ITU’s Bridging the Standardization Gap program is to facilitate increased participation of developing countries in standardization, to ensure that developing countries experience the economic benefits of associated technological development, and to better reflect the requirements and interests of developing countries in the standards-development process. One specific objective of this project is to understand the primary gaps that must be overcome to improve the standards development, implementation, and usage capacities of developing countries.

 

Bridging the standardization gap home: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/gap/

Report

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010 4:59:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled Biometrics and Standards surveys biometric recognition as a key form of authentication made possible by powerful information and communication technologies (ICT).

Biometrics are used in forensics (e.g., for criminal investigations), government applications (more than 60 countries issue electronic passports containing biometric information) and commercial applications. The latter category includes deployments in the banking sector (secure access to ATMs, credit cards, e-Business), with other sectors gaining momentum. For instance, social-networking websites including Facebook and Picasa have integrated face recognition algorithms to make it easier to search and display all photos featuring one’s friends. Biometric systems embedded in cars of a vehicle fleet can help to identify the driver, adjust seat, rear mirrors, and steering wheel to meet individual preferences.

Technologies commonly used in biometrics include recognition of fingerprints, faces, vein patterns, irises, voices and keystroke patterns.

The Report discusses the advantages of biometric authenticators over their knowledge- and possession-based counterparts, describes different physiology- and behavior-related biometric traits and how they are used in biometric systems. A choice of biometric recognition applications is highlighted, and an overview of standardization work in the field of biometrics is given.

"Biometrics and Standards" can be downloaded here.

The authors welcome your feedback on this Report and all other publications of the Technology Watch series. We invite all interested parties to submit paper proposals for future Technology Watch Reports. The Technology Watch secretariat can be contacted at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

Monday, December 07, 2009 3:44:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 30, 2009

Two new ITU standards in the field of IPTV have recently been agreed.

The first – Recommendation ITU-T H.740 - will enable a greater level of two way communication in IPTV services. For example it will support interactive services such as voting and e-commerce while also allowing better provision for emergency alerts and audience monitoring. Simply put the standard prescribes behaviour for an IPTV terminal in the case of receiving these instructions from either a broadcaster or a user.

More technically, H.740 "Application Event Handling for IPTV services" provides a framework of application event handling in IPTV services. An application event is describes as a specific user interaction or occurrence related with multimedia content. One of the characteristics of the new standard is that it gives a careful provision of privacy protection, with differing degrees of security.

The second standard - Recommendation ITU-T H.762 - "Lightweight interactive multimedia framework for IPTV services (LIME)" gives a subset of html and javascript for use in IPTV terminals. LIME is described as being very strictly profiled so that it can be used on a resource-limited devices like TV-sets. LIME can support interactivity like widgets and portals, as well as AJAX-like applications on IPTV. LIME can be used with basic services like video-on-demand (VOD), linear (channel) service (over IP), and EPG (extended programme guide). The expected main user interface is a remote controller.

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Monday, November 30, 2009 2:14:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The ITU group responsible for the development of the Primetime Emmy award winning video coding standard ITU-T H.264 (which is also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10) has issued a draft call for proposals for new video coding technology. The final call for proposals is expected to be issued in January 2010, and it may be issued jointly with ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 (MPEG).

ITU-T Study Group 16 is asking for proposals that give substantially increased compression relative to existing standards.

The proposals will be evaluated using formal subjective tests with the results made public. A proposal evaluation meeting is planned for April 2010. Depending on the proposed technology, a final resulting standard may be developed by July 2012.

Details here.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009 10:54:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |