KW 28: German Federal Council in favor of smart meter expansion, HomePod to support third party services, New features for Google Assistant


German Federal Council in favor of smart meter expansion: Germany’s Federal Council is committed to significantly expanding the use of smart meters. A resolution from July states that it is precisely because of the orientation of the energy supply towards renewable energies that optimal control via digital consumption metering devices is required. With this resolution, the German states are calling on the federal government to implement the European internal electricity market directive as quickly as possible. Compared to other EU member states, Germany is lagging behind in the use of intelligent measuring systems. The necessary infrastructure must be created in order to drive the expansion forward. It is also important to check whether the implementation of the European Energy Efficiency Directive can achieve synergy effects when digitizing the consumption of electricity, heat, gas and water.

HomePod to support third party services: Later this year, Apple is adding third-party music support to the HomePod, which will allow the speaker to work with services like Spotify and Pandora by default. At the current time, third-party music services like Spotify can only be streamed on the ‌HomePod‌ using AirPlay and an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. The new feature will presumably allow Spotify and other music services to be set as the default music service, letting users ask Siri to stream music by specifying “with Spotify” at the end of a request.

New features for Google Assistant: In the future, the Google Assistant will be able to control six other device types. So far, thermostats, smart sockets or household appliances can be controlled via the Google Assistant. This range will now be expanded to include receivers, streaming speakers, streaming sticks, sound bars and normal speakers. The expansion could support as many as 80 device classes. Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa could face serious competition.,

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Samsung is hoping to compete with Apple with its new smartwatch. So far, the Americans have been the market leader in the smart watch segment. The new South Korean watch will appear in two versions, a smaller and a larger one. Both are said to have a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. In addition, the models will be offered with WLAN and / or LTE and will also be available in titanium or stainless steel. The new Samsung Smartwatch is said to even comply with the MIL-STD-810 military standard and be particularly robust. The new watch models could be launched this month.

Report: Spy Smart TVs in every living room
Smart Home: AVM publishes the FRITZ! Smart Home app
Amazon: Prime Video with profiles
Mobility: Lime’s e-scooter now available via the Uber app
Comparison: 5 things that Alexa masters – but Google doesn’t


32 percent of Germans use language assistants. This represents an increase of 12% within one year.


Networked construction: Virtual Reality enables those who work on building information modeling (BIM) to work together in a networked and collaborative manner. Planning discrepancies can be eliminated when exchanging three-dimensional models. Team members do not have to be in the same place. Builders and project managers can accompany the entire construction cycle from planning to construction. The networked system also facilitates communication.

Voice control in the industry: While smart home solutions like voice control are increasingly used in private, they are still an exception in the industrial sector. A company from Bavaria is now planning to change that. The advantages are obvious: “You can move independently and have both hands free.” This would allow workers to be more flexible. Machines that can be operated via voice control could also make work easier for people with physical disabilities.


“If a music streaming service recommends a song that I don’t like, I can live with it. But if my self-driving car makes decisions about whose life should be spared in the event of an accident, I would like more control over those decisions.”
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has insisted that artificial intelligence must be reliable.


Many smart speakers are accidentally listening in on conversations: A study by the Ruhr University Bochum and the Bochum Max Planck Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection examined when and how often intelligent speakers listen in on conversations without users deliberately activating them. Eleven different language assistants from different manufacturers were tested with series such as “House of Cards” or “The Simpsons” – in different languages. For example, Apple’s voice assistant was activated by the word “Daiquiri”, Google’s assistant by “Okay, cool” and Amazon’s Alexa was activated by the German “Am Sonntag” (On Sunday) or the English “unacceptable”. In total, the assistants were unintentionally activated over 900 times. The researchers said that the systems were intentionally “liberally” programmed to understand different people and therefore preferred to activate too often rather than too little.

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