Recently, the “T ü V Rheinland” (hereinafter referred to as “T ü V Rheinland”) “Quality Wins China” South China Media Exchange was held in Shenzhen. This year coincides with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Dewey Rheinland Shenzhen Company. Ms. Hu Lili, Chief Operating Officer, first introduced the growth process of Shenzhen Company over the past 20 years to all guests and media, and gave a prospect for the future development direction of the company. At the exchange meeting, Yang Jiajie, Deputy General Manager of the Electronic and Electrical Products Service Department of Rheinland T ü V Rheinland Greater China, worked with experts in the field of wearable devices, as well as representatives of well-known enterprises in the field of intelligent hardware,
Hu Lili, Chief Operating Officer of Dewey Rheinland Shenzhen
In 2015, as topics such as “Internet plus” and “intelligent manufacturing” continued to heat up, most enterprises were actively changing their thinking, adapting to the changes of the times, and exploring. A new field combining traditional industries with “Internet plus”. Among them, intelligent hardware is undoubtedly one of the emerging markets with great development potential in many innovative directions. The intelligent hardware market represented by wearable electronic products is in the ascendant, and more and more enterprises are participating in the research and development of new products. However, there are no unified standards for product safety, performance, interoperability, and durability.
Challenges in the Intelligent Hardware Market
The intelligent hardware market has mushroomed, characterized by a wide variety of products, high user acceptance, and enterprise innovation. Domain segmentation, platform strategy, and big data will play a major role in the future. Yang Jiajie believes that whether it’s the current hot smart home or the Internet of Things, enabling intelligent interaction between people and things is all about making products better understand themselves and making life simpler and more convenient.
Yang Jiajie, Deputy General Manager of Electronic and Electrical Products Service Department in Greater China, Rheinland T ü V, Germany
Currently, the enterprises in the intelligent hardware market are mainly Internet enterprises, mobile phone enterprises, and new hardware enterprises. These three types of enterprises have different advantages and challenges. For the Internet, it has the advantages of software services, online channels, and a combination of software and hardware, but hardware design, supply chain control, and after-sales service are shortfalls. Mobile phone companies have great advantages in hardware design, supply chain control, and other aspects, but their disadvantages are narrow product range and high trial production costs of new products. On the contrary, new hardware companies have low costs and great cooperation flexibility, but lack manufacturing and technological precipitation.
The serious homogenization of intelligent products has become an unknown fact in the industry. Yang Jiajie stated that the biggest challenge facing the intelligent hardware market is the lack of unified standards for product quality, and the inability to obtain certification for the safety and stability of rapidly changing intelligent products. Children’s mobile phones and watches radiate far more radiation than mobile phones, and Fitbit smart bracelets cause frequent skin allergies and other events. Take the smart bracelet as an example. There are many bracelet brands on the market, and the claimed functions are also very similar. In the massive homogenization, how to make outstanding products stand out and let consumers know what kind of products are good is an urgent issue to be solved in the intelligent hardware industry at this stage.
Drone is a popular word recently. According to a drone user who sells on Amazon’s official website, 37% of drone products have malfunctions, 17% simply cannot be used, 18% complain about poor after-sales service, and other issues include missing products and accessories. Packaging, etc. What safety hazards are hidden behind these complaints? If the instructions do not explain to consumers what occasions a certain drone cannot be used, they may encounter risks due to improper use. It is also possible that no one has the opportunity to be used for illegal activities, which is a factor that needs to be considered in this industry and such products.
Yang Jiajie gave an example at the meeting. In early 2014, several cooperative brands of T ü V Rheinland in Germany stated that they had invested a lot of manpower, material resources, and energy in developing a wearable device product. However, they found that similar products were already available on the market, and the preset prices were very low. Can testing agencies help them tell consumers that their products are better? “Features and brochures cannot distinguish consumers, which is the motivation and original intention of our services,” said Yang Jiajie.
In addition, the industry also lacks a platform to link various isolated intelligent hardware. Yang Jiajie believes that this directly leads to the inability of intelligent products to become a rigid demand.
How to standardize the intelligent hardware industry
According to data, as of 2014, the share of smart bracelets in the entire smart wearable device market was 61.2%, smart watches 23.7%, smart armbands 8%, smart running shoes 3.7%, and smart glasses 2.6%.
As an emerging industry, intelligent wear is facing the demand of mass consumers for fashion, functionality, and entertainment. Yang Xin, Secretary General of the China Wearable Computing Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance, believes that the hot spots and directions for development just need to be in two aspects: first, tracking and positioning, serving the elderly and children; Second, health needs. However, with a bright development prospect, we have also seen bottlenecks in industry growth: first, batteries; The second is the charging speed. The biggest difficulty lies in the formulation of standards and technological breakthroughs, such as children’s watches, indoor positioning, and other issues. If not addressed, children’s safety care cannot be achieved.
It is understood that the China Wearable Computing Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance was established in October 2014, with core members including major manufacturers in three major industries, about 50 investment institutions, and national development zones. Currently, the strategic alliance is developing the world’s first wear industry standard. “The text has been prepared and is currently being revised, and can be released as soon as October this year. We are also applying for an international standard, which will be the world’s first wearable standard,” Yang Xin said. He said that the standards formulated were based on drawing on advanced international standards, and some of them were higher than international standards. As long as the manufacturer complies with this standard,
Yang Jiajie stated that T ü V Rhine, as a third-party certification agency for intelligent hardware, has branches all over the world, and has a strong international certification network. It can provide certification from more than ten countries in a one-stop shop to meet local regulatory requirements. In terms of wearability testing projects, T ü V Rhine has referred to EU laws and regulations. In addition to EU mandatory regulations, user experience is also an important basis.
The Future of the Intelligent Hardware Industry
Assistance from third-party certification bodies
Feng Yizu, Wearing Planning Manager of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., as a manufacturer representative, introduced Huawei’s strategic layout in the intelligent hardware market at the meeting. At the same time, he also stated that third-party testing and certification institutions play a very important role in maintaining the healthy development of the market. Huawei always adheres to the concept of open cooperation and win-win cooperation. Similarly, Ye Chuan, Director of Technology Operations of Shenzhen Yingqu Technology Co., Ltd., said that third-party certification agencies can promote the standardization and standardization of the intelligent hardware industry. Yu Jianguo, Vice President of Shenzhen Watch and Intelligent Wearing Research Institute, also has this view. He emphasized that the future development direction of the clock industry will be the continuous integration of tradition and technology, which will play a positive role in the development of the intelligent wear industry. In the intelligent development process of the clock industry, third-party testing institutions play an important role: in addition to formulating industry standards, it is more important to guide production enterprises to develop and produce in accordance with industry standards
The importance of certification lies in that through effective monitoring and testing by third parties during the production process, the product meets corresponding standards after being placed on the market, minimizing the risk of harm to human health.
As a T ü V Rhine with a history of over 140 years of third-party standard certification, it is urgent to help the intelligent hardware industry standardize. It is understood that T ü V Rheinland focuses on safety and quality, providing independent, impartial, and professional testing, inspection, certification, appraisal, and consulting services for products, systems, processes, and personnel.
“We have been exploring what third-party testing and certification institutions can do?” Yang Jiajie said. The intelligent wearable device certification standard launched by T ü V Rhein assesses chemical requirements testing services, battery life testing, battery and machine safety, product wireless technology certification, and other aspects. In addition to product suitability testing, software and information security evaluation systems, it forms the German Rhine T ü V intelligent wearable device system. T ü V Rhine hopes to consider the safety and applicability of products as much as possible, help consumers distinguish which products are qualified among many products, and bring about a practical and good user experience.
After the exchange meeting, the guests and the media also visited T ü V Rhein’s laboratories in Shenzhen, including batteries, acoustics, safety regulations, applicability, and chemical testing. During the visit, laboratory staff explained the equipment and testing items one by one.
Media Visit to T ü V Shenzhen Laboratory in Rhine, Germany
The intelligent hardware market is booming. The emergence of certification standards will standardize the market and form a healthy industry ecology. At the same time, it meets users’ demand for intelligence and enjoys a truly intelligent life.