After 6 exhibition days the Cebit, the world's largest trade fair for IT, ends today in Hanover. Even though the number of visitors has declined in recent years and the important product presentations of major manufacturers have shifted to trade fairs such as CES in Las Vegas, Cebit is still considered one of the most important digital trade fairs in the world.
Trends & Topics
Although the focus of the trade fair has recently tended to focus more on the business sector, many topics are also interesting for a broad audience and the "normal" user, as they provide a glimpse of the direction in which technology will develop in the (near) future. The most important topics dealt with at Cebit this week are also the trends that are currently driving the technology sector.
The fact that drones are not only gadgets for private users, but also offer great added value in the business sector was demonstrated by technology giant Intel with its own drone park at the trade fair grounds. With intelligent sensors, the devices should also be able to navigate without human control and thus be used, for example, for maintenance work on wind turbines, oil platforms or solar systems.
In addition to drones, this year's CeBIT will focus on mobility concepts of the future. Several pilot projects of driverless cars and assistance systems were on display. One of them was the autonomous minibus "Olli", which is equipped with IBM's Watson technology and not only looks for its own route but also enters into dialogue with its passengers. This is how the electric bus understands its passengers and responds to their questions and requests.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen is looking for solutions to meet the challenges of urban transport. The Group is working on implementing individual route planning for each vehicle to reduce congestion in city centres. The route is no longer calculated individually by each navigation system, but centrally by a computer. Each vehicle connected to the system thus receives its individual route.
The 5G network is expected to represent the next evolutionary stage of the mobile Internet from 2020 onwards, further pushing technologies such as autonomous driving and the Internet of Things. In the coming year, the Berlin-based start-up Part-Time Scientists in cooperation with the mobile phone company Vodafone will also bring the 5G network to the moon for research purposes in order to control vehicles (rovers) taken from the earth. The landing module for the mission as well as the rovers could be viewed by visitors at the Cebit.
Robots and artificial intelligence:
The fact that the boundaries between man and machine are becoming increasingly blurred was demonstrated this year in particular by the partner country Japan at Cebit. From humanoid robots to intelligent prostheses or digital geriatric nurses, the range of applications on show was very broad. In many cases, robots intended for use in industry are no longer intended to replace humans, but to work together with them.
Privacy & Security:
Against the background of increasing networking, data protection and IT security have been central topics at Cebit. IT security specialists showed how poorly many devices are secured against external intervention and how this threat can be contained by using software.
Edward Snowden also spoke on the subject of data protection and monitoring at the Cebit Global Conferences. While he praised progress in encryption techniques, he continued to warn of inadequate security standards in e-mail and cloud providers and voice assistants.
Realignment of Cebit in 2018
The organisers of the Cebit draw a positive conclusion for 2017. Nevertheless, next year everything is to be different at the Cebit - the fair wants to present itself as a whole "cooler" and become more attractive again for the general public and a younger target group. Thus, the date will be moved to the summer (11th to 15th June 2018) and the fair will be divided into three focal points which will run under the umbrella brand Cebit: the classic IT fair, the conference programme in terms of content and, to strengthen the event character, a "festival of digital transformation". The motto is "More technology, more innovations, more emotions". The fair is to become an innovation event. The reorientation is often viewed positively in the industry - we will find out in 2018 whether it will succeed.