I don’t know about you, but I tend to think of units of measurement as fixed things.

A kilometre is a kilometre. A pound is a pound. An ounce is an ounce.

And that’s why I was somewhat taken aback to discover that scientists have decided to define the kilogram in a new way.

As it turns out, up until now the kilogram has been defined by the weight of a specific object – a platinum-based ingot named “Le Grand K” that lives in a safe in Paris.

But now, that’s all changed.

The kilogram will be defined by electric current instead from 20 May 2019


As it turns out, both Le Grand K and the replicas made and distributed around the world have changed weight slightly as they have deteriorated.

Now, the change in weight is imperceptible, but in the world of science, there’s a greater reliance on precision than ever before.

Because the new system isn’t based on something that can deteriorate (and therefore change weight), the margin for error is much lower, and consequently it’s seen as a much better way to define the weight.

And when something’s a better fit, it makes sense to use it.

Sure, it might have been easier to stick with the Le Grand K, but when you know the results will be better with the new model, it’s a sensible decision to move.

That’s exactly the way that a lot of our customers feel when they move from standard USB or SD to our Datakey portable data memory products – USB and SB might have been convenient, but when something better comes along, it just makes sense to move.

If you think it might be time to think about Datakey products for your next application, get in contact and we’ll talk it through.