Why Smart Watches Are Not Tested for Electromagnetic Waves in Korea | Be Korea-savvy

Why Smart Watches Are Not Tested for Electromagnetic Waves in Korea

SEOUL, May 17 (Korea Bizwire) – As Samsung’s smart watches including Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit are getting popular in Korea, the days of wearable devices seem to be around the corner. An interesting thing is that the government is not conducting tests to measure electromagnetic waves generated by the current models. 

On May 15, according to the National Radio Research Agency (RRA), the wearable devices have never been tested for the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile device. The RRA measures SAR of every mobile phone being sold in Korea and the results are made available on the website. 

The National Radio Research Agency did not conduct tests for smart watches because current models do not have telecommunications function. The wearable devices use Bluetooth to establish connection with cell phones to alert the wearers when calls or text messages arrive. 

Radio frequency energy is generated when a cell phone is engaged in the telecom mode. According to the National Radio Research Agency, current models do not generate a significant amount of radio frequency energy so that they don’t need to be tested. An RRA official said “We measure SAR for every device which has an antenna output greater than 20 mW, but the antenna outputs of the smart watches are below such standards; therefore, no SAR tests are required for them.” 

The agency explained that the wearable devices would be tested if telecommunication function were added to the devices later on. 

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, a rating system for electromagnetic energy generated by cell phones will be implemented starting in August in which SAR below 0.8 W/kg is classified as the first grade and as the second grade if the result falls between 0.8 and 1.6 W/kg. 

Written by Robin Koo (linguistkoo@koreabizwire.com)

Technology (Follow us @Technews_Korea)

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