Well thought out, carefully crafted gadgets are a thing of beauty. But for all the streamlining and minimalism that may go into a design, there’s no avoiding those off-putting logos and regulatory compliance numbers tattooed on the back of devices. Well, at least there wasn’t. Until today.
US President Barack Obama has officially signed the E-Label act into law, which means that manufacturers can begin displaying things like FCC symbols, ID numbers, and other labeling within software instead of physically printing this information onto the hardware itself.
The legislation was originally proposed by U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) earlier this year. The senators argued that the changes would allow manufacturers to save money and pass savings onto consumers. While I highly doubt consumers will see significant savings -- if any at all -- because of this, for manufacturers, it’s one less thing to worry about. If anything, companies making smartwatches and other wearable devices will certainly appreciate having fewer icons to squeeze onto them.
Of course, this law only applies to U.S. regulatory labels. If the device is to be sold in Europe, for example, certification labels representing the European Commission (EC) and its Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) initiative will have to stick around a while longer.