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Proceedings Paper

Standards And Their Impact On Technology
Author(s): Lincoln L. Endelman
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Paper Abstract

The needs for standards and the processes to provide them are very complex. Standardization is dependent upon voluntary and nonvoluntary agreement among individuals, companies, various organizations, and countries around the world. The agreements on standards, which sometimes take five to ten years, are hindered by monetary considerations, relinquishment of patent rights, disagreement among nations on dimensions in metric or the English system, and professional jealousy among some individuals. Standards, Standards, Standards - what a boring and uninteresting topic. Why did I ever agree to speak to you about something that most people take for granted and don't even bother to pay much attention to until they encounter a situation where a nonstandard item creates a problem. Have any of you ever bought a roll of 35mm film for your foreign made camera and found out that it needs 32mm film? That could have happened to you in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Yes, we know that, you say, but that's not a problem anymore. Well, how about when you try to put a Beta cassette into your VCR that uses VHS cassettes? Have you tried to fit a Minolta lens onto a Nikon camera? But enough, you all have the idea. Standards were developed to make interchangeable components compatible with other equipment, no matter who made it or where it was made. Some companies and countries deliberately made things different to protect their inventions and profit by their uniqueness. More and more attempts are being made to reduce the international differences in technology and establish a common ground for trade and commerce. The European Common Market is in the process of eliminating many of the barriers to free exchange of goods, services, and even moving to a universal currency. This all sounds good for Europe, but what about the USA and the rest of the world. The United States has fought the change to the metric system for almost two hundred years. Our electrical system and the electrical systems of many parts of the world are not compatible. There are at least five video systems throughout the world. Standards have a direct impact upon almost every area of living in today's multi-complex world. Medicine, business, entertainment, science, education, travel, and especially manufacturing. Think about the American made automobile with the Japanese engine - everything is metric.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 January 1990
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1155, Ultrahigh Speed and High Speed Photography, Photonics, and Videography '89: Seventh in a Series, (17 January 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.962397
Show Author Affiliations
Lincoln L. Endelman, Perkin Elmer Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1155:
Ultrahigh Speed and High Speed Photography, Photonics, and Videography '89: Seventh in a Series
Gary L. Stradling, Editor(s)

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