Our adventure starts at the Hannover Messe in Germany. Every year the world’s biggest computer expo is held here. More than 6500 exhibitors and 250.000 visitors come together to share and experience the world’s most exciting tech trends. But CeBIT is rather different from CES, MWC or any other tech fair because the stars of the show are not regular consumer electronics but rather B2B solutions and the technologies which power the industries that we so often take for granted.
Every year CeBIT has a different theme which dominates the conferences, talks and other events. In the center of this year’s theme “d!conomy — join — create — succeed”, have been the humans behind the driving force of digitalization and the effects it has on the world economy. The explosion of IoT devices from the wearables on our wrists to the cranes that load the ships which make global trade possible, has created an unprecedented flow of data. It is expected that as of 2020 the number of devices to grow to 50 billion and each of this device will generate more and more data. Understanding and deriving valuable insights from this data is the key to future innovation. In short, the hottest topics at CeBIT 2016 were Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and drones.
The Cognitive Era has arrived!
By far one of the most interesting booths at CeBIT 2016 was the IBM one. The booth was created to be a window in the near future, from robots to speed boats and mind-controlled toys all had in common one thing: the IBM cloud.
Are robots becoming smarter than us? By playing rock-paper-scissors against NAO, a robot who is actively using Sparx analytics to predict the outcomes of the games, we certainly felt like it.
Another collaboration between Aldebaran Robotics and IBM is the Watson-powered Pepper. Pepper combines its unique dexterity with the IBM sentiment analysis capabilities to interact with humans in a way like never before by reading human emotions. It understands our expression and reacts in real-time. This opens up the possibility for implementation in a series of business solutions which require interaction with humans such as care services, hospitality or customer service. Plus, Pepper loves to fist bump or give you a high give when you feel down.
“Luke, the force is strong in you!” Actually, the force is strong in all of us. Although we have SiRi, Cortana and Google Now for some years already it’s time to move on. We were able to experience the next step in Human-computer interaction by controlling a BB-8 Droid with the help of our mind. The IBM Cloud enabled the futuristic merger between the Emotiv Insight headset which reads brain waves and the very popular toy.
Technological advancements in the recent period have turned drones into one of the hottest subjects at the beginning of this year, it also holds true at CeBIT2016.
We were first time spectators to an event that offered us a glimpse in how digitalization will impact the future of professional sports, introducing drone racing. Full of excitement and speed the sport is important due to the fact that it will drive the innovation engine in the industry, the same as car racing did for the automotive industry.
Several other breakthroughs in drone technology such as the Wingtra Hybrid Drone or the C.E.R.N. developed Terabee range sensor, which allows drones to autonomously avoid collisions, all were showcased in the 5 days.
What do wine and Internet have in common?
Besides being able to order it online, not much. IoT is slowly changing this, and the amount of data stored in the cloud enables us to interact with nature to a deeper extent. Intel showcased how to break the barriers between nature and IoT with the aid of a smart application which enables vitners to collect data about air humidity, soil moisture and temperature straight from the grapevines themselves instead of weather services.
The reach of such hardware makes it possible to track and analyse our daily activities with ease. The collaboration between Tag Heuer and Intel led to the creation of a different breed of smart watch. Although no one from our team plays golf, we could test our golfing skills and with the help of analytic data provided through the “Tag Heuer Connect”, instantly improve our swing.
Follows us below for part two where we will present more cutting edge tech innovation and showcase our Top 10 Cebit 2016 highlights.