Last month, Canada became the sixth country in the world to adopt electronic labelling or ‘e-labelling’ and today, President Obama has also signed the the E-Label Act, making it a part of the U.S. law, The Verge is reporting. The law allows manufacturers to put things like FCC symbols, ID numbers, and other labeling in a software menu, instead of physically printed or labeled on a device.
“President Obama today signed the the E-Label Act, which was introduced by senators Deb Fisher (R-NEB) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA) in July, and quickly made its way through both the House and Senate this fall. The bill’s authors argue that the change could make electronics easier and less expensive to produce. They also say it will become exceedingly useful on smaller gadgets like smartwatches, where space comes at a premium.”
E-labelling allows companies to make changes to device information remotely and can help reduce costs, plus also reduce barriers for new devices to enter the market quickly, allowing consumers to purchase new products faster. However, the law doesn’t mean certain gadgets can go out into the world naked. Some regions require designations, for example Europe’s “CE” mark, if they are to be sold there.
The need for physical labelling on US devices was originally introduced in 1973, almost 39 years after the FCC was created. So what does this mean? In the future your precious iPhone or iPad may no longer have those labels on the back, which surely will make Jony Ive happy.