OHS Canada Magazine


January 29, 2008

Health & Safety

Toronto, ON — Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a leading developer of standards and codes, today showcased its new Mobile Device Format (MDF) for standards to go at the Standards Publishing Advisory Board (SPAB) Annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The custom-designed document reader allows content heavy publications to be easily read on a mobile and hand-held computing devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), full-size Smart Phones, and Pocket PCs.

A 2007 survey sampling of 32,000 CSA customers showed that more than half of the respondents currently owned a PDA, Smart Phone or Pocket PC and that 75 per cent were interested in viewing CSA standards on mobile devices.

Mobile devices are gaining popularity across a wide range of vertical markets in North America and are increasingly seen as a convenient way to access and share information said Suzanne Kiraly, President, Standards, Canadian Standards Association. As the first known standard development organization to offer standards and related products in an interactive mobile device format, CSA is leading the way in promoting new, innovative technologies with advanced features and capabilities that deliver the best, most efficient products and services to our clients, members and end users.

MDF was developed in cooperation with Alcaeus Innovations Inc., of Nova Scotia, which creates high-end mobile software and web application tools for companies throughout North America and Europe.

The Alcaeus Mobile Editions Software (AMES) is a custom-designed document reader that reads the converted CSA PDF publication files. It is specifically designed to function on the Microsoft Windows Mobile Operating System and will soon be available for Blackberry devices. MDF standards are Internet free and once downloaded, the standards reside on the mobile device where they can be instantly accessed in the office, on a job site, or in the field.

The MDF standards are specifically designed to be economical for mobile devices. A file of 80 pages in PDF format may consume 3.5 megabytes (MB) of memory, but in MDF the same file would consume less than 5 per cent or 146 kilobytes. A mobile device with a 256 MB memory card may store as much as 1,300 publications of as many as 600 pages in length without losing any of the original publication structure.

MDF standards also include a dynamic search function allowing for input key terms, clauses or phrases for quick searching; an easy-to-read display with tables and diagrams automatically adjusted for landscape or portrait mode; interactive features such as dynamic equations in the standard so that users can enter variables and calculate answers electronically; easy and quick retrieval of searched items.

As an alternative to its print publications, CSA created the first of its smart standards in 2000; CD versions of its publications with interactive, customizable features and automated tools. At the same time, it also began offering standards in a downloadable PDF format.

In 2006, CSA launched an Online Subscription Service to makes standards and related documents available in PDF through a web-based portal. An annual subscription allows unlimited electronic access to a selection of 10 to 3,000 standards tailored to the needs of individual customers.

CSA will offer the new MDF standards through its online store at www.ShopCSA.ca in spring 2008 beginning with the C22.1 Canadian Electrical Code. Additional standards in the areas of Oil and Gas, Occupational Health and Safety, Health Care, and Construction and Engineering will follow as they are converted to the new format.

To learn more about MDF standards and for a demonstration, please visit www.csa.ca/mobile

About CSA:
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a membership association serving industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in Canada and the global marketplace. A leading developer of standards and codes, CSA aims to enhance public safety, improve quality of life, preserve the environment and facilitate trade. To help people understand and apply standards, CSA offers information products and training. The Canadian Standards Association is a division of CSA Group, which also consists of CSA International for product testing and certification, OnSpeX for consumer product evaluation services, and QMI for management systems registration. For more information visit www.csa.ca

Contact: Anthony Toderian
Senior Media Relations Officer
CSA Group
T: 416-747-2620
E: anthony.toderian@csagroup.org


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