Alexa will be able to launch apps using voice commands: Amazon is working on a new feature for its Alexa voice assistant that will let the software launch Android and iOS apps using voice commands. Alexa for Apps is launching in preview form, meaning Amazon is working with a number of developers on how they would like to make use of it. Ultimately, Amazon wants to position Alexa as a platform-agnostic alternative to Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. Meanwhile, competitor Google announced that in the future the new Google Assistant will be available on Android devices other than its own brand “Pixel”.
Apple Glasses can be controlled with your eyes: While Apple’s smart glasses have yet to be officially presented, information surrounding the smartglasses continues to leak to the public. Various eye movements including blinks and stares are said to operate the glasses, according to a patent that recently became public. A user uses their eyes to interact with user interface objects displayed on the electronic device, the patent reads. It is still unclear when the glasses will be presented, let alone sold. Reports suggest the glasses will arrive in late 2021 or early 2022.
Digital ID function on the smartphone: Samsung has developed a personal ID solution for smartphones in cooperation with Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the Bundesdruckerei (“Federal printer”) and Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH. The function is enabled by a secure chip, a corresponding ID app from the Bundesdruckerei and an NFC-compatible ID card. The first models should have the new feature by 2020 – the Galaxy S20 and the Note 20.
EU initiates inquiry into consumer IoT sector: The European Commission has launched an antitrust competition inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the EU. The sector inquiry will focus on consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device. These include smart home appliances and wearable devices. Knowledge about the market gained through the inquiry will contribute to the Commission’s enforcement of competition law in this sector. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the consumer IoT was expected to grow significantly in the coming years and become commonplace in the daily lives of European consumers. Access to large amounts of user data seemed to be the key for success in this sector, so the EU needed to make sure that market players were not using their control over such data to distort competition.
Competition for the Fritzbox: WLAN router with Wifi 6 inside-digital.de
Smart Garden: Bosch launches battery alliance smarthomeassistent.de
Huawei Mate Watch: The release of the new smartwatch is nearing notebookcheck.com
Wearables: Oppo Watch comes to Germany computerbild.de
Security: Smart Home and intelligent alarm systems inside-digital.de
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
Samsung estimates that everyone will have up to 60 connected devices in 2030.
New learning algorithm to make AI more energy efficient: Computer scientists at Graz University of Technology are trying to make AI systems more energy efficient. Up until now, the energy consumption when learning artificial neural networks has been one of the biggest hurdles in the use of artificial intelligence. With the use of a new learning algorithm that is based on the human brain, the energy consumption of the respective AI systems could be significantly reduced. The computer scientists hope that the machine learning algorithm e-prop will drive the development of a new generation of mobile learning computing systems that no longer need to be programmed but learn according to the model of the human brain and thus adapt to constantly changing requirements. The goal is to no longer have these computing systems learn energy-intensively exclusively via a cloud, but to efficiently integrate the greater part of the learning ability into mobile hardware components and thus save energy.
BSI study on IoT infrastructure in Germany: The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is currently investigating the IoT infrastructures of eight German cities. The study will especially focus on the information security of four model project smart cities Hassfurt, Kaiserslautern, Solingen and Wolfsburg. In addition, the BSI will soon support the cities of Delbrück, Dresden, Paderborn and Ulm in the development of their own smart city infrastructures and, based on the study, will make recommendations for IT security in future smart city projects. The study will continue for at least another year.
“We need to make sure that market participants don’t misuse their control over this data to distort competition or otherwise exclude competitors from the market.”
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on the EU’s planned IoT inquiry.
NOT SO SMART…
Wearables could soon be powered by sweat: Wearables are making progress in two different research labs around the world. At the University of California, San Diego, researchers are developing new ways to use sweat to power wearables. Researchers in Scotland are also taking strides in making sweat a more reliable resource for the future of wearables: Engineers at the Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies group are focusing on supercapacitors for wearables.