Apple’s Homekit offers sophisticated smart home options: Since 2014, Apple has been working with its Homekit on a platform to make networked devices from different manufacturers operable under one system. The Homekit now covers a broad ecosystem: from lamps, radiator thermostats, motion sensors, televisions, garage openers, streaming speakers, roof window drives, wireless switches, to video doorbells, surveillance cameras, alarm systems and adapter plugs. What is still missing are shortcuts to coffee makers, washer dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Nevertheless, the Homekit can be set up in just a few minutes.
New smartwatch function could save lives: Apple and Samsung are reportedly working on a non-invasive blood glucose meter for their smartwatches. Conditions such as type 1 diabetes require checking blood glucose levels many times every day. Korean media claims that the next smartwatches from both Samsung and Apple will feature optical glucose monitors, which work by shining a light through the skin to measure levels continuously. Apple reportedly hired a biomechanical engineer team in 2017 to work on the feature, while Samsung developed a glucose-monitoring method last year called Raman spectroscopy that uses lasers to identify chemical compositions.
Bosch: Door/window contact detects open windows: The Bosch Smart Home System has added an open window detection to its new firmware update. The Door/Window Contact detects open windows and doors and immediately alarms the Bosch Smart Home System in case of a break-in. It also reports open windows to networked radiator thermostats so that they do not continue to heat unnecessarily while the home is being ventilated.
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What actually is Bitcoin? The technology behind it t-online.de
Smart City: When a city controls itself nzz.ch
Smart contracts: For more security faz.net
Retrofitting: Washing machine reports finished laundry heise.de
Siemens: „Exact localization with 5G doesn’t work,“ says a Siemens manager golem.de
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
Apple finished 2020 with its most profitable quarter ever, with $111.4 billion generated in quarterly sales.
AI-for-agriculture platform: Aerobotics is a startup out of South Africa that is using artificial intelligence to help farmers manage their farms, trees and fruits. Founded in 2014 by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer, Aerobotics is currently focused on building tools for fruit and tree farmers. Using artificial intelligence, drones and other robotics, its technology helps track and assess the health of these crops, including identifying when trees are sick, tracking pests and diseases, and analytics for better yield management. The startup has already raised $17 million in an oversubscribed Series B round.
Better air quality with blockchain and geofencing: Ford researchers explored how dynamic geofencing and blockchain can be implemented in plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles to help improve air quality in cities. The vehicles used in the study had a feature to switch to zero-emission driving based on air quality and geofences if there was sufficient charge in the battery. A hybrid-electric van with an electric refrigeration unit powered independently of the vehicle’s batteries was also used to collect data. “With our latest studies in Cologne and Valencia, we’ve shown the additional sustainability and compliance benefits that connected technologies such as geofencing and blockchain can bring to cities, citizens and operators.” said Mark Harvey, Ford’s director of enterprise connectivity.
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„On-street options such as lantern charging options offered by Ubitricity will be critical for those who live and work in cities or who don’t have private parking.“
Shell manager István Kapitány on the takeover of Berlin startup Ubitricity, which specializes in charging points for electric cars in street lights and charging cables with integrated electricity meters.
NOT SO SMART…
Samsung’s Galaxy Upcycling turns old phones into IoT devices: A few years ago, Samsung announced a sustainability initiative called “Galaxy Upcycling,” an effort to repurpose and reuse older smartphones. Last week, Samsung announced an evolution of that program called Galaxy Upcycling at home. At its core, the idea is to let people who still own older Galaxy smartphones to use them as part of their connected home rather than just leave them in a drawer (or worse, send them to a landfill).