KW 8: Toyota is building its own Smart City, IKEA launches smart light strips, Apple Watch owners can get hold of new trophies on Women’s Day


Toyota is building its own Smart City: Toyota Motor Corporation has started construction on a 175-acre smart city at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, about 62 miles from Tokyo. The city, which Toyota has dubbed the „Woven City,“ is expected to function as a testing ground for technologies like robotics, smart homes, and artificial intelligence. A starting population of about 360 inventors, senior citizens, and families with young children will test and develop these technologies. These residents, who are expected to move into the Woven City within five years, will live in smart homes with in-home robotics systems to assist with daily living and sensor-based artificial intelligence to monitor health and take care of other basic needs.

IKEA launches smart light strips: IKEA is once again unpacking new technology for the smart home. According to a media report, the IKEA Myrvarv LED light strip will be launched in April 2021 for versatile use. Of course, the product can be integrated into your own smart home via the “IKEA Home smart system” and controlled with the Trådfri remote control. For a complete equipment with the Myrvarv light strips, however, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Apple Watch owners can get hold of new trophies on Women’s Day: The next Apple Watch Activity Challenge will take place in March in celebration of International Women’s Day, which will occur on March 8th this year. Users will be able to earn a special trophy for completing the challenge. Users will have to complete a workout of at least 20 minutes in order to complete the challenge. This can be done using the Workout app on Apple Watch, Apple Fitness+, or any fitness app that syncs exercises with the Health app.

German interior ministry is funding three Bavarian Smart City projects: Germany’s interior ministry is supporting the three Upper Bavarian municipalities of Fuchstal, Apfeldorf and Unterdießen with six million euros to help them convert into Smart Cities. Initially, “normal things” such as government services will be digitized, but in the long term the municipalities also want to digitally network and control energy generation and storage systems.

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According to Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics, the smart home market in Germany is the third largest in the world. In 2020 it had a volume of 4.3 billion euros and growth rates of 20 percent per year


New VR headset for the PS 5: Sony is working on a next-generation VR headset for the PS5. The headset won’t launch this year, but Sony is announcing early plans to make it available on the PS5 at some point in the future. Sony’s new VR headset will include an improved field of view, resolution, and even a single cord to make it easier to use. The company is also working on a new VR controller, which will use some of the features found in the DualSense PS5 controller. The VR controller will also focus on improving ergonomics. Sony will start issuing development kits for its next-gen VR headset soon, but the company isn’t detailing the full specs or release dates just yet.

VW’s electric car sharing service „WeShare“ starts in Hamburg: Volkswagen will launch its WeShare offer with 800 electric cars in Hamburg next week after having to postpone the launch due to the pandemic several times. Initially, WeShare will distribute 400 ID.3 before reaching the final fleet size of 800 vehicles in April. The Hamburg business area covers around 100 square kilometers, which lie exclusively north of the Elbe river. In the west, the business area extends to Osdorf, in the east to Billstedt. In the south, the city port borders the area, in the north Fuhlsbüttel. With this, WeShare wants to reach about half of Hamburg’s population. According to Reth, extensions are possible, but depend on further needs analyses.

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„But when I walked into a freezing cold office one morning because I had overlooked the ‚Battery on the radiator thermostat empty‘ warning, I didn’t feel very smart. From this I learned that the devices require attention. And that I can still turn on a heater by hand.“
Mirko Borsche, Creative Director of „Zeit“ magazine, describes his experiences on the path to an optimized environment.


iRobot update leads to orientation problems: Following the software update to version 3.12.8, some models of the Roomba i7 and S9 robots from the iRobot company have navigation problems: Instead of cleaning in an orderly fashion, the robots drive confusedly through the apartment, bump into furniture or spin around in an uncontrolled manner – a bit as if they were drunk. A patch should fix the malfunction in the coming week.

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