History of Standards

Standardization and standards development has origins so far into history that it predates written records. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) includes in their review of standardization, the Calendar as being one the first examples of standardization. [1] Methods of measurement and payment for goods are other examples.

Standardization supported the advancement of science and the development of complex tools. As a once complicated process was simplified by the process of describing it, changes could be made to improve its speed, effectiveness, and expand its use to new purposes. This innovation paved the way for the industrial revolution [2], where machine replaced individual works and sped up the manufacturing process.

In the twentieth century a fourth industrial revolution is underway, that of Internet of Things and 5G technology. In World Economic Forum piece entitled ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond,’ [3] each phase of innovation is described:

“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

There is no doubt that WiStandards members are working on standards that will herald the fourth industrial revolution and their work will contribute in meaningful ways to the growth of new technologies.

For additional information on the history of standards, review the following resources:

[1] https://www.ansi.org/consumer_affairs/history_standards
[2] https://ripple.com/insights/a-brief-history-of-standards/
[3] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-it-means-and-how-to-respond/

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