KW 08: Bluetooth dangerous for smartphones, Apple files patent for a smart home system, Gulf states have ambitious smart city plans


UK passes IoT law: A new British law mandates that manufacturers apply several security controls to their connected devices. The law aimed at securing internet of things (IoT) devices comprises three main mandates for IoT manufacturers. First, all consumer IoT device passwords must be unique (and not resettable to universal factory settings). IoT device manufacturers must also provide a public point of contact so that anyone can report a flaw, to be acted on in a timely manner; and, manufacturers must also explicitly state the minimum length of time for which devices will receive security updates at the point of sale.

Bluetooth dangerous for smartphones: Researchers from Germany’s Technische Universität Darmstadt discovered a flaw in Android’s Bluetooth configuration that allows hackers to inject custom code without a user knowing. If left unaddressed, this could allow undetectable, short-distance cyberattacks against millions of Android users around the world. Coincidentally, only older versions of Android seem to be affected. Android 10 lacks the vulnerability and is considered safe to use with Bluetooth turned on. A hacker could still attempt to attack you, but all that would happen is a Bluetooth crash.

Smart meters often not worthwhile: Smart meters cost around 100 euros and are intended to help reduce electricity costs for consumers. In practice, however, this is more difficult than expected, because there are only a few providers who offer suitable tariffs. Even those who buy cheap night-time electricity can only compensate for the costs of the smart meter if they charge an electric car at night for 10,000 kilometers. Smart meters are not yet worthwhile for the average consumer.

Apple files patent for a smart home system: An Apple patent reveals an idea for a system that could automatically detect smart home devices and potentially configure them for the room they are in. As Apple points out in the patent, there are a lot of good smart home devices and technologies available now. But it can be very challenging to actually configure those devices to make a fully integrated smart home, due to factors like different types of wireless protocols, connector types, incompatible devices between vendors, and more. Apple has patented a system that could make connecting all of the smart things a customer owns easier by automatically detecting a new smart device, what room it’s in, and authenticating it.

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By 2030, smart city projects will reach a market volume of 47 billion euros.


Smart cities need a good plan – not just technology: There is great potential to make city life more pleasant for people through sensors and automated systems. But for a successful implementation of a Smart City, it is not enough to just use the technology. The technologies pose a number of challenges – from citizen acceptance to hacking attacks to data protection guidelines, there are many aspects to which cities have to react quickly. It takes the right engineers, the detoxification of processes and agile working methods to be able to react quickly to problems.

Gulf states have ambitious smart city plans: Speakers at the Saudi Smart Cities Summit and Expo lauded Saudi Arabia for its efforts to transform its cities along modern lines by rapidly implementing smart systems. The presentation “Smart Cities — Case studies from the UK and the GCC” was given by Akin Adamson, Saudi British Joint Business Council member. It talked about the experiences of different UK and GCC cities with respect to how they have implemented smart cities, the approaches they have taken, stages of development and some examples of what they have achieved.


“Nevertheless, it is a reality that larger smart city projects have to be evaluated: how great are the benefits for citizens and how much privacy are citizens willing to give up for it? The willingness to voluntarily provide data varies widely.”
Jonas Schmid, Head of Smart City & Business Development at Akenza, talks about the path to the smart city.


Computer science as a compulsory subject in Germany: Schoolchildren in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate will have a new compulsory subject with the start of the new school year. The new computer science curriculum will also cover the subject of networked devices. From 2021 onwards, the 9th and 10th grades will learn how devices and machines are networked in the Internet of Things. Applications can be digital voice assistants, intelligent garbage cans in the Smart City or the measurement of environmental data.

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