drone-1245980_960_720I’ve recently signed up for lots of alerts on smart products, Kickstarter newbies, CES inspired “Next Big Things”, everything from drones to software and apps for pets (yep, your cat no longer has to look with disdain at the toy mouse you flaunt in front of him, he can turn his nose up to the digital version). I’m interested in learning more about the phenomenon of “smart” devices.

Most people have a vague grasp of what “smart” entails; generally it’s taken to mean wireless enabled products that are capable of communicating with and/or controlling how other devices operate. It struck me that in the various discussions about how smart devices will change your life, many consumers are concerned with the safety of new, smarter devices. In essence, what impact do smart devices have on their data protection and privacy rights. This is an area to which many virtual column inches have been devoted, and the answers to those concerns are intricate to say the least.

My concern however, is in the more tangible. Working in product safety gives one a unique perspective and an increased paranoia about every product you use, touch, buy or gift to another (especially to children). An awareness of the extent of product recalls for violations of safety standards just adds to the unease.

I attended a product safety conference that looked at the market surveillance for the safety of consumer drones. Interestingly, rather than drones failing to meet drone specific laws, drones were failing to meet the basic product safety laws in place for all electrical devices and toys. So for manufacturers of smart devices, whomever your intended audience, you must get the basics for product safety right.

Contact Compliance & Risks Market Access team to discuss what laws affect your product worldwide. We can help you to establish a baseline of laws applicable to your product, and we can keep you up to date on any changes to laws or standards in the future. Get your free needs assessments now!