Eleven special product types got attention in a best practices framework on the Internet of Things (IoT), available January 31 from Commissioner Elliot Kaye. These were in addition to the otherwise "technology-neutral" advice assembled by his staff. Other sections of the guide (bit.ly/2t4Kl7u) cover matters like companies' responsibilities, the need to design for safety, and steps to mitigate known safety risks.
Some of the 11 special topics and the advice, included:
- Wearables: These involve risks like skin reactions and burns, but the guide includes implantables, so notes that some functions might need to be FDA compliant.
- Nurseries: Among the usual IoT concerns, the report also emphasizes the need to ensure that traditional risks are addressed – matters like cord strangulation or small parts.
- Vehicles: Operation in extreme temperatures and interference with driver/passenger safety systems or even nearby vehicles are among the worries in this section.
- Inherent Hazards: The phrase in this context refers to products that have known hazards in their non-IoT forms, such as stoves, furnaces, lawnmowers, or gates. The advice is to ensure that the IoT neither allows such risks to occur nor undermines safety protections. The report urges that such considerations go deeper than one layer, For example, an on/off switch might not be a hazard itself, but it might activate an outlet connected to a space heater.
- Protective Products: The considerations for products like smoke alarms or pacemakers raise concerns similar to those with inherent hazards, but designers also should assess issues like lifetime reliability and false alarms.
- Sensory Isolation and Distraction: These actually are two categories in the guide, and concerns include eliminating or decreasing awareness of surroundings. An example of the first type would be virtual-reality devices.