KW 2: Apple and Hyundai rumored to build first Apple Car beta next year, Air purifiers to help fight Covid, Less smart home use in Germany


Apple and Hyundai rumored to build first Apple Car beta next year: Apple and Hyundai plan to sign a partnership deal on autonomous electric cars by March and start production around 2024 in the United States, local newspaper Korea IT News reported on Sunday. Hyundai last week said that it had been in conversations with Apple. The reports send Hyundai shares skyrocketing by close to 20%. Hyundai Motor declined to comment on the report on Sunday, and reiterated Friday’s comments that it has received requests for potential cooperation from various companies on developing autonomous EVs.,

Air purifiers to help fight Covid? Especially during the current Covid pandemic, air purifiers are being hailed as the ultimate weapon against viruses, spores, dust and other pollution. has taken a closer look at popular models. It can make sense to filter the air in a room or at least reduce the number of particles in the air. But how well this is actually possible depends heavily on environmental conditions. According to German consumer group Stiftung Warentest, it is possible to reduce the infection rate with selected viruses under laboratory conditions, but this cannot be applied across the board to normal air conditioning systems. Depending on the model, different particle sizes are captured by the integrated filter, so results depend a lot on the model used. The consumer center NRW therefore recommends air purifiers as a supplement to thorough everyday hygiene. No matter how good the filtering is, the risk of viruses sinking out of the air and settling on surfaces is not averted. In such a case, neither air filters nor air conditioners are sufficient.

Less smart home use in Germany: In 2020, fewer Germans used smart solutions for their homes than in the year before, according to a survey by Hamburg market research institute Splendid Research. But it also became apparent that the number of intensive users increased: instead of 12% in 2019, a full 18% used smart home solutions intensively in 2020. Concerns about privacy in the smart home area fell to 45%. The most popular applications in the smart home area are those in the areas of entertainment and communication (63%), energy management (55%) and building security (31%). Interest in the energy management sector in particular could increase due to federal subsidies for energy efficient buildings that came into force on January 1st.

Software updates enable continued use of smartphones: Samsung has launched a new firmware update that should enable owners of old Galaxy smartphones to continue using them as IoT devices in their smart homes. The aim is to save money and conserve resources. All over the world, decommissioned smartphones eke out a sad existence: fallen out of time, replaced by younger, more attractive models, but still: Too good to scrap them. But Samsung, the market leader in the smartphone segment, has a solution: upcycling by means of software updates. The update enables old smartphones to be converted into “Galaxy Upcycling at Home” devices. With Samsung Knox and the deactivation of obsolete functions, security in the Internet of Things can be preserved. Old smartphones are supposed to become smart baby monitors or other devices.

Bosch presents ventilation traffic lights for smart homes: Fresh air has never been more important. In an effort to help reduce the risk of infection in shared spaces during the pandemic, Bosch has developed a new device that will tell consumers how fresh their air is. Users of the Bosch Twinguard smoke detector can call up the new „healthy room air“ service in the associated smartphone app, where air purity, humidity and other levels can be seen. Users can set an air purity value themselves in the app, and if air freshness falls below that, they will get a notification on their phone. „The ventilation detector can now be used to set up its own ventilation traffic light based on the measured air purity,“ a Bosch spokesperson said at CES.

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African Edition – The weekly newsletter that provides you with hand-picked news about current discussions and news from Africa: from socio-political developments to African-European relations. The continent at a glance.

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Up to 400 billion dollars could be generated by 2030 by using data and connected vehicles. The sum results from the savings and sales that can be achieved through smart solutions in the automotive industry.


Legal security for smart homes: The portal „Rechtslupe“ has inspected the legality of some smart home solutions. Because sometimes personal rights and security solutions get in each other’s way. In what form can owners protect themselves before they act inappropriately? Is video surveillance of one’s own property allowed? – Yes, as long as it is really limited to one’s own property. Even if the owner or owners only use dummie cameras. Because even the mere impression of being monitored by a camera is, according to case law, an inadmissible interference with personal rights. Experts therefore recommend not using swiveling cameras, because if these should capture sidewalks, neighboring properties or other areas that are not the responsibility of the owner, the privacy rights of third parties could be compromised. But: In the event of a criminal offense, for example a break-in, (illegally made) recordings could still help to preserve evidence. However, such recordings may under no circumstances be published publicly (for example on Facebook or Instagram).

Software update enables incognito mode for smart speakers: Last January, Google quietly did away with the existing Guest Mode feature on Home and Nest devices, which allows people not on a person’s Wi-Fi network to connect with a Chromecast or smart speaker by entering a four-digit PIN. Some people had complained that they and their pets could hear the ultrasonic frequencies the two devices use to pair. On Wednesday, in the culmination of online privacy efforts the company first announced back in October, users will be able to turn off the voice recording features of their smart display and speaker like the Nest Audio or Nest Hub Max simply by telling it to. This new Guest Mode is basically like Chrome’s Incognito tabs. When activated, it prevents Google Assistant interactions from being recorded to an account.

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„The federal funding for efficient buildings will further dynamize the smart living market in Germany and is therefore a historic opportunity for the entire industry.“
Johannes Hauck, Director New Business & Regulatory Environment at the Hager Group and deputy head of the steering committee of the Smart Living business initiative, on the potential of the new federal funding for energy efficient buildings.


„Your penis is mine“ – app-controlled chastity belt hacked: Security researchers have known of a security gap in the smart chastity belt „Qiui Cellmate“ since June 2019, but the gap was never closed. Hackers have now taken control of the device and attempted to extort ransom from users.

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