On July 11, 2014, the FCC’s Office of Engineering & Technology (OET) released new guidance giving some consumer electronics manufacturers more flexibility in digitally labeling (e-labeling) their products.
The guidance advises that all devices with an integral (non-removable) screen can now display that label digitally on that screen, and up to three steps deep into the device menu. The user manual must include information on accessing that FCC info, or it can be on the equipment’s Web site.
Removable labels with the FCC info must still be on the product or its packaging when it is shipped and sold.
Formerly, the FCC required equipment that requires FCC certification to have a fixed nameplate or etched label (see the iPhone hieroglyph) listing its FCC ID and any other requirements of operation.
The benefits of e-labeling include:
- Cost savings, especially as devices become smaller
- The potential to provide more information, like recycling or trade-in opportunities
- The ability to update information remotely to address any inaccuracies
The FCC had already permitted e-labeling for a small subset of devices. In 2001, the Commission’s rules authorizing software defined radios (SDR) permitted the voluntary use of e-labeling by device manufacturers.
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