The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced publication of two new standards: ANSI/CTA/NSF-2052.1, Definitions and Characteristics for Wearable Sleep Monitors and ANSI/CTA-2056, Physical Activity Monitoring for Fitness Wearables: Step Counting. These standards define terms and functionality for step counting wearables and sleep measuring devices.

Sleep experts at the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) partnered with CTA to help develop Definitions and Characteristics for Wearable Sleep Monitors. The new standard defines terms for describing sleep states and indicates the functionality required in devices measuring sleep behavior. The standard focuses exclusively on consumer products and does not address functionality within medical devices.

“We’re very excited about the publication of ANSI/CTA/NSF-2052.1,” said David Cloud, CEO of NSF. “Our sleep experts have been hard at work alongside the consumer tech experts in CTA’s standards program to help advance consumer sleep measurement technology. Definitions and Characteristics of Wearable Sleep Monitors is a terrific first step. We are already under way with phase two of our work: establish standardized methods for measuring these characteristics.”

CTA also announced publication of Physical Activity Monitoring for Fitness Wearables: Step Counting. The new standard describes a measurement procedure and performance criteria for consumer step-counting devices. The method involves observing actual steps, while the wearable device estimates steps, and stipulates the estimated step count cannot differ from the actual step count by more than 10 percent for walking, jogging or running.

“Consumer interest in health & fitness technology is soaring,” said Dave Wilson, vice president, technology & standards, CTA. “CTA’s health & fitness technology subcommittee is busy working on standards to improve devices that allow people to lead happier, healthier lives. Our aim is to help the consumer technology industry advance even further by establishing agreed-upon standards for how these devices operate.”

Driven by the popularity of fitness activity trackers, CTA forecasts U.S. unit sales of all wearables in 2016 will reach almost 48 million units (a 39 percent increase). Fitness activity tracker volumes will hit 28 million units in 2016 — a 60 percent increase from 2015 — with revenues reaching $2.2 billion, a 62 percent increase.

The release of these standards concluded day two of CTA’s Technology & Standards Forum. Other highlights included panel discussions on the importance of accuracy in biometric wearables, improving device security and consumers’ growing adoption of tech. Additionally, CTA held meetings of its audio, cybersecurity, health & fitness, physical activity monitoring and video standards committees.

CTA’s standards committees produce standards, guidelines and technical reports which help grow the consumer technology industry. All are welcome and encouraged to join any of these technology activities. For further information, please visit