New Amazon dashboard for Fire tablets: Amazon is rolling out a new feature to Fire tablets that transforms them into a control center for the smart home. Amazon is adding a Device Dashboard to select Fire tablets, allowing users to control their smart-home gadgets with taps instead of voice commands. The Device Dashboard will be accessible via the new Smart Home button in the left corner of the navigation bar. Additionally, it’ll be accessible from any screen, including the lock screen.
Update for EQ3 smart home system: The technology company EQ3, which specializes in smart homes, has updated its Homematic IP smart home system. The most important innovation: Parallel use of several Homematic IP Access Points. This offers the advantage of significantly expanding the previously applicable limit of a maximum of 80 supported components. A further 80 components are added for each access point. In addition, the radio range was increased.
Google Home app now with presence detection: The Google Home app is one of Google’s most feature-packed applications. Presence sensing uses Google’s AI smarts to determine whether or not people are home based on their device activity. One of the interesting additions this info enables is support for new activities for setting up Home and Away routines. They make it easy to trigger specific smart home actions like turning lights off or on when leaving a house or returning to it. The Home app notes that the more devices that grant it location permissions through presence sensing, the more accurate it will be at predicting when to start these routines.
Hymer will offer fully networked motorhomes: The caravanning industry, which is experiencing a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been in a steady process of digitization. The Hymer brand is now promising a fully networked motorhome, to be available starting in 2022, with the help of the Hymer Connect app. The app will be included in all models of the flagship B-Class Master-Line, allowing for smartphone control of not just the entire living area, but vehicle data as well. This will give users access to information on the gas tank, mileage or locking mechanisms. Hymer cooperated closely with Mercedes-Benz during development.
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Covid app: Criticism of the lack of options netzpolitik.org
Criticism: Data protection in fitness trackers sueddeutsche.de
Smart kitchen help: Whisk app wants to make shopping lists “shoppable” with AI mobilbranche.de
Cooperation: Somfy and Siegenia team up tga.at
Official: Bosch will announce smart water alarms in the fall smarthomeassistent.de
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
According to a survey by digital association Bitkom, 87 percent of those surveyed assumed that economically weaker cities and municipalities will benefit from digitization.
Mixed results in door lock test: The results could be better. Stiftung Warentest has examined smart door locks and found that two out of seven variants have weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers and burglars. The results are listed in detail in the current October magazine of the consumer organization. It warns that locks that can be controlled via the internet are sometimes not protected by a sufficiently long passwords, which makes hacking attacks easier.
What good is digital support for seniors? Long ago, the technology industry discovered the target group of seniors. Digital applications promise to make life a lot easier for older people in a wide variety of situations. An investigation by the editorial network Germany (RND) has now analyzed digital support in various areas of life such as video telephony, weather, medicine or living. It is noticeable that not everything that promises to make everyday life easier can also be used or even installed in everyday life for people with little technology affinity.
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“People who have been discriminated against need a tool to get information quickly and in the moment – an app can do that much better than a website or a brochure.”
Eren Ünsal, head of the “State Office for Equality – Against Discrimination”, about the advantages of the new anti-discrimination app in Berlin.
NOT SO SMART…
Smart speakers still fail when it comes to data protection: The consumer magazine Stiftung Warentest tested the most popular smart speakers for its November issue, which included devices from Amazon, Google and Sonos. The categories of sound, handling, voice assistant, versatility and data protection were evaluated. There were sobering results in the latter point in particular: Even the test winner “Sonos One” only achieved a “satisfactory” rating. With all devices, the testers were dissatisfied with the inadequate information about data protection and the lack of transparency about what happens to the data. For example, Google wanted to process friends’ phone numbers without asking them for their consent.