New ITU-T standardization initiatives focused on personal networked environments are creating a pervasively interconnected world. Through cross-cutting work led by the Joint Coordination Activity on Home Networking (JCA-HN), ITU-T's 10 Study Groups are developing wide-ranging sets of ITU Recommendations defining a new kind of 'high-speed home' featuring conveniences like remote control of lighting, heating, appliances and security systems, as well as social benefits such as non-intrusive monitoring of infants, the elderly and the infirm.
Areas under study include delivery mechanisms for bringing digital services to the home, ï€ in-home local networking, content and equipment management, digital rights management (DRM), interactive video, set top box architecture and service delivery over IPTV and cable modems.
The first global standard offering an in-home, high-speed network capable of delivering room-to-room HDTV was agreed by ITU late 2008. The standard, published under the G.hn banner, promises high quality multimedia over power, coaxial, phone and other home wiring. It will give up to 20 times the throughput of existing wireless technologies and three times that of existing wired technologies.
"Home networking bandwidth requirements are set to steadily increase, as operators deliver multi-stream high-definition content, upgrade last-mile access network technologies, and provision future IP-based services," observes ITU-T Director Malcolm Johnson.
Gearing up for the future
If you still think in-car GPS is hot, think again. ITU is working alongside ISO and IEC and the global auto industry on standards that will bring about the fully networked car. The work focuses on sophisticated traffic management and driver assistance systems, to improve road safety while reducing the environmental impact of motoring.
A regular fixture of the Geneva International Motor show, one of the world's leading automotive trade events, ITU's 'Fully Networked Car' showcase is a unique event bringing together the ICT and automotive industries to focus on the standards that experts agree will drive the market for intelligent transport systems.
Speaking at the event, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said: "With the Fully Networked Car we can provide traffic management, monitoring, and analysis, all of which will help meet the climate change challenge. Those who successfully meet this challenge will end up with a real competitive advantage in world markets."