KW 9: Facebook announces Siri competitor, Homey smart home center announces update, Smart alarm systems put to the test


Facebook announces Siri competitor: Facebook has introduced a new Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and Portal smart display feature that enables owners to wake their devices with the phrase „Hey Facebook,“ closely following in the footsteps of virtual assistant software marketed by Apple, Google and Amazon. This seems like a natural progression for the Portal devices, but it’s more confusing for Oculus headsets, where saying “Hey Oculus” would make more sense. The intent of having it on the headset is to let you do things with your voice so that you don’t need to interrupt the VR action as much.,

Homey smart home center announces update: Version 5.0 of the Homey smart home center is being completely revamped for its users. The focus of the update is the support of the new Zigbee function „Sub Devices“, which allows several built-in devices to be addressed. The product range is also being expanded considerably, for example with the popular Ikea remote controls.

Smart alarm systems put to the test: This week, „Computerbild“ took on the smart security service providers for the home and subjected them to a round-the-clock test. Most important advantage of smart devices over analog security upgrades? The base station with built-in burglar detector. Not only is it able to recognize attempted break-ins, it also notifies the apartment owner via an app on the smartphone. There is a wide range of products on the market, and it is worth taking a look. Under certain circumstances, Germans can even apply for funding from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) for burglary protection.

German interior minister praises Smart City model Eichenzell: The tranquil town of Eichenzell is not necessarily a place everyone is talking about. But that could change. Because the municipality received more than 10 million euros from the German government as a model project „Smart City“ and is thus in line with large cities such as Cologne and Berlin. This week, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer paid a visit to the town in East Hesse and was quite impressed by Eichenzell’s progress. According to the minister, the municipality is „exemplary“ for German cities.

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LED night sky: Alexa projector equips children’s rooms with orbit function
Pet service: Smart automatic feeders in the test
Homee: New Warema Cube for intelligent sun protection made available
Smart city: Gera city council voted unanimously for pilot project
Statistics: The most important key figures for the Smart Home in Germany


According to a survey by the Harz University of Applied Sciences, only 47 percent of municipalities have medium-term or strategic planning for digitizing their administration.


Smart Home: The complete package or isolated solutions? Intelligent building technology is becoming more and more attractive. However, the thought of a fully automated living environment can also be daunting. Ultimately, the effort, investment and follow-up costs as well as expert support should not be underestimated. Many providers are therefore increasingly relying on isolated solutions, smart products for individual areas of life. The online portal Heise recommends, above all, that newcomers to the smart home sector start with individual intelligent products, which can later be upgraded to a complete solution for their own four walls if necessary.

Eve launches smart weather station: Eve Systems has several new products it plans to launch in the coming weeks, all of which support Apple’s HomeKit home automation platform and the new Thread connectivity protocol. Going even further, Eve has committed to updating its entire smart home portfolio to support the Thread protocol by the end of 2021. Some products, like the second-generation Eve Aqua, only need a firmware updated to enable Thread. Other products, like the Eve Energy smart plug, require a hardware change.

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IoT: Telekom announces record investment in 5G, Siemens, IBM and Red Hat announce cooperation in the cloud
Blockchain: Rakuten allows payments with cryptocurrencies, Estonian blockchain company produces Europe’s first digital vaccine certificate
Safety and Security: Experts criticize Germany’s IT security law, Reformed BND law is headed for the constitutional court again
AI: Startup to increase chances of artificial insemination with AI, Volkswagen is exploring flying vehicles in China


„We want to advance the idea of Potsdam as a Smart City.“
Potsdam’s Mayor Mike Schubert on the city’s plans to participate in the interior ministry’s funding program “Smart City Model Project”.


Update turns Smart TV into stupid TV: Google TV might be meant for next-gen smart TVs and set-top boxes, but Google is also planning to include a „Basic TV“ mode to cater to less tech-savvy folks who are not interested in smart TVs. The first smart TVs running on top of Google TV have yet to hit the market, but when they do, they’ll come with a “Basic TV” feature that strips smart features from the TV.,

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