Sharing and Securing Wearable Tech
by Robin Hegg
The IEEE and its members have been at the forefront of wearable technology, working to share advancements and research, highlight security concerns, and develop standards for wearable development, communication, and security. In June of 2015, IEEE published a special report on wearables and in February of 2016 it released a report entitled WearFit: Security Design Analysis of a Wearable Fitness Tracker. In this report, the Center for Secure Design examined how the top 10 software design flaws can be approached using a made-up wearable fitness tracker (the WearFit) as an example.
The IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society (SMC) started a Technical Committee on Interactive and Wearable Computing Devices. They state that IWD (interactive and wearable device) is “very multi-disciplinary” with research areas including “user interface, multimodal interaction, smart sensors and actuators, body area networks, mobile computing, ambient intelligence, communications, user safety, security, minimization, and others.” The committee aims to provide a platform for researchers and developers to collaborate and exchange research and ideas.
The IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMB) Society started a Technical Committee on Wearable Biomedical Sensors and Systems to promote the field of wearable and implantable body sensors within the biomedical community. In addition to providing content about wearable biomedical technology and organizing conferences and workshops, they also assist international governing bodies on standards for use and acceptance of wearable biomedical sensors and systems.
In 2015, the IEEE Computer Society hosted the Rock Stars of Wearables event in Austin, Texas. The event brought together experts in wearable technology to discuss the future of the industry and how it will affect our daily lives and potentially disrupt our current technology systems and habits.
The IEEE Standards Association also works to develop standards for the emerging wearable technology industry. Standard P360, “gives overview, terminology and categorization for Wearable Consumer Electronic Devices (or Wearables in short). It further outlines an architecture for a series of standard specifications that define technical requirements and testing methods for different aspects of Wearables, from basic security and suitableness of wear, to various functional areas like health, fitness and infotainment etc.”