As part of the Internet of Things (Internet of Things), one of the trends that has been spreading exponentially is definitely that of “wearable devices” . It's all those electronic devices, often equipped with radio technologies, that can be worn and generally contribute to quality of life.
The emerging market for wearable devices includes smartwatch, wristbands for fitness, virtual reality glasses, devices for the health and well-being, but also products that are less commonly associated with these technologies, such as clothing and accessories.
The manufacturers, importers and distributors of such devices face some difficulties when it comes to ensuring the safety of products they place on the market. The companies entering this sector are not always familiar with the regulations regarding electronic devices and in some cases tend to neglect or apply them incorrectly. This can unfortunately have consequences on the health of end users, but also on legal aspects regarding privacy.
The penalties for non-conformity of a product are actually quite high, because for some years may affect not only the manufacturer, but also all the players in the supply chain and sales. It is therefore not unusual that for a single not conform model the fines come in clusters.
It is therefore necessary to consider in its entirety the device to be marketed, identifying potential risk factors and applying all necessary measures to ensure product safety.
New market challenges
The recent spread of wearable devices introduces more complexity in the design phase in order to ensure the quality and safety of products. The introduction of new technologies into products is a complex process that requires careful planning since its preliminary stages, both because the components and electronic systems often used are not designed for use in wearable devices, and because it is often difficult to determine beforehand all of the potential conditions to which the device may be subjected.
In addition, wearable products that have as their purpose the user's health and wellbeing may fall under the medical sector and then request the specific certification process for medical devices.
The assessment of the safety and reliability of the wearable devices requires that these are subjected to a series of tests in the assessment phase, including:
- electrical safety tests, to ensure that the user is protected from the risk of electric shock or burn related to the overheating of the electronic parts;
- radio testing, to verify the functionality of wireless communication devices that integrate WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.;
- electromagnetic compatibility testing, to ensure that the product does not cause any disturbances to nearby equipment and is not sensitive to disturbance;
- tests of human exposure to electromagnetic fields, to evaluate the impact of the electromagnetic energy generated by the wireless devices on the human body. In the specific case of wearable products, it is the tests of SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) that measure the percentage of electromagnetic energy absorbed by the human body when it is in close contact with radio frequency devices (head and body).
The manufacturers, as primarily responsible for the conformity of the product, are therefore required to implement all necessary measures to ensure the safety of marketed devices, identifying strategies and identifying the technical aspects of the product that might pose a risk factor.
Sicom laboratory gives manufacturers, importers and distributors the necessary support to safely put ont the market wearable devices that integrate the latest technologies, offering pre-compliance services, testing and certification, and post production and batch control.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for certification and testing of your products.