KW 25: Tencent plans huge smart city, Patent dispute between Google and Sonos, One year CityLab-Berlin


Tencent plans huge smart city: Technology giant Tencent has unveiled plans for an almost entirely car-free city of the future, equivalent in size to Monaco, in the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen. The “Net City” will take around seven years to complete, with construction expected to commence later this year. The urban development will prioritize pedestrians, green spaces and self-driving vehicles, according to its designers.

Patent dispute between Google and Sonos: Google has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against smart speaker maker Sonos. Google accused Sonos of using substantial volumes of its technology, including patented Google innovations in search, software, networking, audio processing, and digital media management and streaming, without its permission. The lawsuit comes in response to Sonos’ own patent suit against Google, filed in January, which accused the tech giant of blatantly and knowingly copying Sonos’ patented technology in creating its audio products. Sonos, which makes home speakers that work with both Google’s artificial-intelligence-powered Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, had said that as it pressured Google to officially license its technology.

Weavs wants to bring the smart city to Austria: In the Austrian town of Vorarlberg, the startup Weavs is working on the digitization of cities. In Dornbirn, the largest city in Vorarlberg, the two founders Christoph Klocker and Christoph Blank have developed the so-called city monitor, which provides quick information to residents of the city about, for example, the closure of the ford in Dornbirn. “Citymonitor creates transparency by visualizing complex data and thus promotes efficiency in many areas,” says Klaus Lingg from the city’s digital management.

TÜV Hessen offers new IoT security check: TÜV Hessen is offering a new IoT Security Service that is designed to help companies identify security risks when networking IoT devices. The service is intended to be an alternative to the classic penetration test and checks compliance with international IoT security standards.

Smart City: Intelligent street lamps for Essen
Bose AR: Bose ends its augmented reality plans
Nest Wifi: Testing Google Nest Wifi – mesh network and smart home
Security: D-Link launches two new cameras
Web IDE: OK Google, expand your digital assistant for developers!


Only 28.6 percent of the German population are familiar with the terms “smart meter” or “intelligent measuring system”. This was the result of a C/Sells survey in southern Germany.


One year CityLab-Berlin: One year ago, the CityLab was founded in Berlin. It allows for intelligent traffic counting, among other things. “Districts can save money and count much more efficiently,” Benjamin Seibel, head of CityLabs, explained. Seibel is satisfied with CityLab’s work to date, saying there had been a surprisingly positive response. It is not always about efficiency and perfect results, “but about learning in the process where the construction sites are”. Cooperation with the authorities, who are often used to other ways of working, is not always easy. Another showcase project of the CityLab is “Gieß den Kiez” (“Pour the neighborhood”). This platform ensures that the irrigation of Berlin trees is better coordinated by relying on the cooperation of Berlin residents. This year, the project is being financed by the state government with 1.5 million euros. Even the opposition party found words of praise for the project. “The digitization of public and private areas is only a model of success if you can continuously and systematically tap innovations for the future. The CityLab is the right instrument for this, and you can equip it with more resources,” said FDP politician Bernd Schlömer.

Smart highway in Flanders: The Belgian region Flanders has set itself the goal of reducing the number of fatal accidents to a minimum by the year 2050. Since it could still be some time before the breakthrough of autonomous driving, the region is now relying on intelligent motorways that connect with the vehicles. This system is currently working for truck convoys. The Flemish “Smart Highway” on the E313 motorway also wants to implement it for cars. The efficiency of the system was tested in a study. Communication modules allowed cars to react more quickly to each other, for example when the front vehicle braked unexpectedly. 5G technology could significantly increase the response time and the security of the system.


“This is the largest 5G initiative in Germany. We are bringing 5G to half of the German population in the city and in the country. And we are already reaching this milestone earlier than planned.”
Telekom Germany boss Dirk Wössner announced that he will push ahead with 5G expansion in Germany.


Cookie banners on smart TVs: Austrian users of smart TVs are currently being confronted with cookie notices, as they usually appear on websites when they are opened in a web browser. The reason for this is a judgment by the European Court of Justice. It refers to a so-called cookie opt-in, which was introduced by the ProSiebenSat1 media group. “This active opt-in works in the same way as is known from other cookie banners on the internet. If there is no response to the banner, it disappears and is replayed at regular intervals when a channel in the group is selected,” a statement from the media group reads.

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