KW 23: Study shows which smart home devices are the most popular, Amazon integrates 90,000 everyday responses in Alexa, Increasing criticism of smart cities


Study shows which smart home devices are the most popular: ProntoPro has examined which smart home devices Germans like the most. Air conditioning is the most popular area of application for smart devices, accounting for 33 percent in the popularity list by ProntoPro. This means that the number of owners of smart air conditioning units has increased by 8 percent compared to the previous year. According to experts from ProntoPro, the demand for intelligent irrigation systems rose from 5 percent to 25 percent in 2020. Smart electric blinds are used by 18 percent, while programmable thermostats are only used in 4 percent of German households.

Amazon integrates 90,000 everyday responses in Alexa: In German-speaking countries, is one of the most popular websites for answering everyday questions, with the community providing answers to those posting questions. The Amazon Alexa voice system is also often used by users to ask for advice. Now, the answers to 90,000 questions from will be integrated into German Alexa voice commands. Users of Amazon devices do not need to activate any settings to access the pool of answers.

Increasing criticism of smart cities: The concept of an intelligent city was meant to make urban areas more efficient and make life easier for citizens. However, more and more people are becoming skeptical about this idea. Initiatives against sensors, cameras and data points are being started in many different places. Critics warn of a full surveillance of citizens. There is also growing skepticism about projects involving well-known players – as shows the example of the canceled Smart City project by Google’s parent Alphabet in Toronto, Canada. Civil rights activists have repeatedly pointed out the dangers of surveillance and unauthorized data storage.

IoT is becoming increasingly important: According to a survey commissioned by Microsoft Germany, IoT is becoming increasingly important for companies. 20 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) consider the technology to be a key priority – to help tackle the coronavirus crisis as well. Almost half rate IoT as “more important than ever”. This could also have to do with the fact that 47 percent of SMEs state that they are little or not at all affected by the consequences of the pandemic. Small and medium-sized businesses seem to be focusing on modernization and digitization.

Smart Home: A business model is picking up speed
Boost in digitization: How the coronavirus affects smart cities
Periphery: Digitization in rural areas a real opportunity
Perspective: Five theses about the smart city during the pandemic
Risks: IT security in smart cities


According to Immoscout24, 48 percent of Germans are planning to purchase smart home devices.


Why smart home devices are only slowly becoming more popular: Compared to the rest of the world, Germans have been comparatively slowly when adapting smart home systems. Germany is lagging behind, particularly compared to the United States. This is due to concerns about data protection as well as user-friendliness. So far, many devices have not been able to be integrated with one another. There are also shortcomings when it comes to device operation. Another reason for slow adaptation is the belief that the purchase and installation of smart home systems would be expensive.

Planning is essential for the success of smart city projects: Smart cities can bring big advantages in terms of efficiency and sustainability. However, good planning is required for the successful implementation of digital city projects. Four steps are essential: First, the interests of all parties involved must be articulated. Second, a central planning office should be set up that is accessible to all. Third, practitioners need a suitable platform. The fourth step is a well-thought-out division of tasks. While these steps cannot give a full guarantee of smooth processes, they will help when evaluating a variety of scenarios in advance.


“The Germans are chief worriers.”
Josef Brunner, head of the IoT company Relayr, criticized German caution when it comes to digitization.


Xiaomi’s smartphone failure: Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is growing in popularity, but apparently hasn’t yet convinced its own CEO Lei Jun. The company’s co-founder was recently found posting on social media with an iPhone.

Newsletter subscription

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter for a compact overview of Smart-City, Smart-Home, Smart-Living topics:


More digital news briefings

Our political briefings