Data networks are now intrinsic to our everyday experiences. Automobiles are data centres on wheels with hundreds of sensors and control systems in constant communication. Smart appliances, lighting, climate control and security systems manage our home environments invisibly.
These experiences are so seamless that it is easy to forget how much work goes into making such a wide variety of devices from disparate manufacturers work together.
That interoperability is made possible by standards. They govern everything from how microprocessors interact with storage systems to the way cell phone towers hand off signals to roaming devices without disrupting conversations. There are more than a dozen in the field of wireless connected devices alone.