Wearable manufacturers face compliance dilemma

02 March 2017

Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

TÜV SÜD Product Service is warning that the wearable device market is facing a compliance dilemma.

Trying to apply current test standards and methodologies to this rapidly evolving technology is leaving manufacturers, retailers and end users vulnerable to potential risks.

Manufacturers and retailers could be compromising both the quality and safety of their products because they rely on off-the-shelf electronic components, which have not been expressly designed for wearable use. As the wearables market is so immature, specific compliance requirements are still emerging, and there is insufficient evidence available to assess the performance of standard components in a new wearable application.

TÜV SÜD is advising manufacturers and retailers to take a ‘safety beyond compliance’ approach to the test and certification of wearables. Going beyond what current regulations or standards dictate will help prove that they have performed the necessary due diligence to bring a safe and compliant product to market. This should include seeking expert advice regarding any marketing claims associated with a product, particularly regarding 'medical' claims.

A comprehensive suite of tests to evaluate the safety and reliability of wearables should include:

- Battery lifecycle

- Bio-compatibility

- Chemicals and other hazardous materials

- Data security

- Electrical safety

- EMC

- Mechanical

- SAR

- Wireless


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