KW 27: Google buys North, Many smart TV manufacturers violate the GDPR, Garmin buys analysis company Firstbeat


Google buys North: Google has bought Canadian smart glass manufacturer North, following the failure of its own smart glasses to go mass market. North, founded in Canada in 2012, said it would now be “winding down” support for its first-generation Focals. North’s Focals hide a computer processor, battery and Bluetooth module in the arms of the frames. North launched the Focals 1.0 in January 2019, and within a month of launch, it dropped their price nearly in half to $599.99. In December last year, the company announced that it’d stop making the original version in order to focus on a second-generation pair. The company no longer plans to release that device, North said in its acquisition announcement.,

Many smart TV manufacturers violate the GDPR: As part of its “Smart TV sector investigation”, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has identified serious deficiencies in data protection and IT security for smart TVs. There is also criticism for the “continuous serious lack of transparency around consumer privacy.” This is a violation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which has been in effect since 2018.

Garmin buys analysis company Firstbeat: Garmin said Tuesday that it’s acquiring Firstbeat Analytics, a business focused on analyzing heartbeat data from consumer devices in the health, wellness, fitness and performance markets. Firstbeat’s software analyzes physiological data and provides users with metrics in the areas of stress, sleep, VO2 max, training status, training effect, respiration rate, and calories burned. The aim is to help users better understand data related to physical training and recovery. Wearable and GPS application company Garmin plans to integrate Firstbeat’s data and analytics capabilities into its range of fitness trackers.

The greatest concern when IoT devices are attacked: Possible attack scenarios and security risks are constantly increasing due to the linking of devices, gadgets and machines in the Internet of Things. Smart buildings, medical devices, network devices and VoIP telephones in particular fall into the risk group. This was the result of a study by the American device visibility and control specialist Forescout.

WatchOS 7: Apple integrates sleep tracker
Facebook: First pictures of VR glasses prototype
Huawei: First Smartspeaker available in Germany from mid-July
Smart home: Kopp joins Bluetooth SIG
Smart alarm system: Amazon subsidiary “Ring” will soon be offering home security bundles


San Diego police have accessed the video footage of smart street lights 35 times since 2017 to identify suspects. There are a total of 3,200 such lanterns in the city.


Training household robots with laser pointers: As part of a research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), researchers at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences have developed a new technology for defining the work area of smart household appliances using a laser pointer. The process, for which the researchers have now applied for a patent, is intended to benefit consumers in the long term: Smart home owners could use laser pointers to explain the limits of their work area to their work equipment, which could help prevent navigation errors in the long term.

“Future Living” in Berlin: The capital city’s first Smart City district will be built in Berlin-Adlershof. The project, which is considered an “urban lighthouse project”, is intended to combine various smart energy solutions with one another in order to offer a living environment that is as sustainable as it is digitally networked. At the forefront: the Japanese company Panasonic, which supplies the planned smart city with photovoltaic systems and air-water heating points, for example. An almost CO2-free and sustainable energy supply is planned. Almost 100 apartments are to be built on the Sci-Tech hub on an area of almost eight square kilometers.


“The acceptance of interactive formats and digital media among teachers and students is growing steadily. It is therefore very important for us to find out how this can also be done in a field of medicine that is based on manual skills and abilities.”
Prof. Dr. Karl-Stefan Delank, Director of the Halle University Hospital, on the motivation of the “SmartHands” project starting there, which is intended to enrich the range of courses with virtual and augmented reality exercises.


National security threat: The US Federal Communications Commission (FFC) declared Huawei and ZTE a national security risk on Tuesday. The reason for the decision is that the companies are “closely connected to the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese military apparatus” and, due to the Chinese legal situation, are also obliged to cooperate with the country’s secret service. The arrangement means that smaller network operators in particular can no longer work with the two companies with immediate effect without being excluded from funds from the Universal Service Fund (USF).

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