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Magical machines

Autonomously thinking and acting things – it sounds like magic but is already reality in many parts of our everyday lives.

Y our refrigerator does your shopping for you; no one can steal your bike; your car knows more than your GPS unit – no way? Yes, way! Thanks to the Internet of Things. The Internet has come to everyday objects, with amazing benefits for all of us.

Honk! I'm part of a network. Tap me!
  • The connected scooter Batteries are the core of electromobility – even for scooters. A new smart rechargeable battery called Power Pack 2.0 sends messages to the driver's app and helps them to avoid harmful actions such as deep discharging and charging below freezing temperatures during winter months. The app reminds users promptly when maintenance is required and provides information on charge status and the time remaining until a full recharge is complete – regardless of whether the battery is in the scooter, the garage or the living room.

  • The connected car The connected car provides high level convenience and safety. It collects data during trips and makes you feel like you have an invisible personal assistant in the passenger seat, who not only knows when to replace the shock absorbers, but also where to charge the electric car next. Also, it can find a quicker route in a snap if there's high traffic on the way home.

  • The connected skateboard Equipped with an electric engine, the board accelerates itself - providing easy control with two foot sensors on the top side of the board. If required, it can easily be steered externally, with an app.

  • The remote control for the home With QIVICON, the multi-vendor smart home platform, Deutsche Telekom is realizing the vision of the connected home together with its partners, such as EnBW, Vattenfall, eQ-3, Miele, Osram and Philips. The smart home can be controlled from anywhere, with a smartphone, tablet PC or computer. You never have to worry about whether you've left the lights on again. A simple command on the smartphone is enough to turn the lights off – as long as the hardware is QIVICON-compatible. The same applies to windows: when you install compatible doors and window contacts, you receive a notification whenever they are opened without authorization in your absence. This saves energy, increases security and enhances the comfort of everyday life.

  • Why cows now send texts A cow as a mobile customer of Deutsche Telekom – is there such a thing? Yes. She doesn't have an actual cell phone, but she can send text messages. It's made possible by a machine-to-machine (M2M) solution by Deutsche Telekom, which keeps cows and farmers in constant contact. It's the future of dairy farming, today. To find out why dairy farmers can sleep much better thanks to this modern technology, read the full-length article in the We Care Magazine issue entitled “Change.”

  • Connected bikes Being equipped with a SIM card, motion sensors, a GPS module and a microprocessor, the bike tells you when you need to replace wear parts like brake pads, chain and gear cables. Sensors in the bike can recognize an accident call an emergency service when needed – or a previously defined contact. Also, thanks to the GPS sensor, you can locate the bike at any time.

In August 2014, Deutsche Telekom presented its first smart bike as part of a test project with Canyon, a bicycle manufacturer based in Coblenz, Germany. What makes the connected bike special is its integrated on-board computer, with SIM card, motion sensor, GPS module and microprocessor. While you pedal, your bike collects important data and sends it to the cloud, where you can access it with the app. The app tells you what’s going on: you need a new chain! If necessary, you can order the spare part directly through the app and watch a video tutorial to find out how to install it. The bike’s sensors might even save your life, because they can detect abrupt tilting and report a crash. The bike then sends an alarm signal, initially to your smartphone. If you are so badly injured that you can’t turn off the alarm, emergency services or a contact you defined previously are notified automatically. And thanks to the GPS unit, you can locate your bike at any time with your smartphone. If someone steals your bike, the app shows you its current location, and you can send the police directly to the thief.

Thanks to the GPS unit, you can locate your bike at any time

Even more futuristic: the connected skateboard. Just recently debuted at the CES in Las Vegas, it will soon be rolling over the sidewalks in your town. With an electric motor mounted beneath the board, it glides by itself, easy to control with two foot sensors on the top side of the board. If necessary, it can easily be steered externally, with an app, like an RC model car. The downside: connected objects are becoming increasingly attractive for cyber criminals, as well. Hackers in Australia, for example, have literally pulled skateboards from under their riders’ feet. No progress without risk, after all. By the way, risk also arises when too much technology distracts you from actually driving, like we unfortunately see every day: people texting at the wheel as they drive through residential neighborhoods. That’s dangerous, reckless behavior.

Share of connected cars until 2016

80%

of cars sold worldwide in 2016 will be connected*

*According to a study of the management consultancy Oliver Wyman

Deutsche Telekom has acknowledged this problem. Connected cars are about safety, efficiency and – last but not least – entertainment. Yet despite all the technical possibilities, drivers should be able to concentrate completely on the roads. In addition, the real-time analysis of vehicle sensors and integration of this data with information about the weather, possible road hazards and the current traffic forms the foundation for assisted driving and – in future – partially and highly automated driving. Users will have a kind of virtual personal assistant permanently in the passenger seat while driving, based on secure mobile networks and cloud-based telematics platforms, which enable the exchange of information between vehicle and back end in real time. The digital assistant not only knows when the shock absorbers have to be replaced or where an electric car can be charged fastest; drivers can also regulate the room temperature or lighting at home remotely, for example, and turn a wide variety of devices on and off.

Dear car, how are you today?

“My brake pads feel pretty worn out, but otherwise I‘m great, thanks!” – cars can‘t talk. Unfortunately. Because they have information that is highly relevant for drivers, workshops and car manufacturers. With integrated sensors and intelligent networking the connected drive technology makes cars smart. Cars can also communicate with one another through Car2X communication: if a car detects slippery roads, for example, because the ABS is triggered at temperatures below freezing, it automatically warns other cars nearby. As a result, connected cars make driving both more comfortable and safer.

  • Get there faster

    Connected vehicles also communicate with one another (Car2X), making it easier to avoid traffic jams and heavy traffic.

  • Workshop visit?

    The workshop reviews oil consumption, spark plug wear, and lots of other data through the Internet and recommends a visit when necessary.

  • Automatic emergency call

    When an accident happens, the system triggers an automatic emergency call. And following vehicles are alerted at the same time, thanks to Car2X.

  • Safe on the roads

    Connected cars exchange valuable information, for example, about danger from black ice. Nearby cars can be warned in advance, making everyone safer.

Whether bike, board or car: with connected mobility, driving is even more fun. By the way, other segments of our daily lives also benefit from mobile networking. For example, refrigerators that check their own inventories and order fresh milk online automatically when you’re close to running out. Speaking of milk: have you heard of connected cows yet? Microchips in their collars send important data to the farmers, who can make sure they’re in the barn promptly for the birth of a calf. Even in the middle of the night. For more stories, see the We Care Magazine issue entitled “Change”.