In just under eight weeks’ time, thousands of business and technology leaders will head to Hannover in Germany to see how some of the most exciting digital developments are set to impact our lives and the way we do business.
On 19 March, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will officially open CeBIT 2017, presenting to the world what the future could be like thanks to the latest technological innovation. Over five days, the event will play host to over 3,000 companies from 70 nations who will exhibit technology developments from robots to self-driving cars.
“CeBIT 2017 will raise the curtain on the future of business and society. It will make digitisation a tangible reality,” said Deutsche Messe managing board member Oliver Frese at the CeBIT Preview yesterday.
Here are five key things we can expect to see at this year’s event:
The rise of artificial intelligence
Under the theme "d!conomy – no limits," CeBIT will put the spotlight on the boundless opportunities of digital transformation, in particular highlighting new applications for artificial intelligence and cognitive computing.
“Visitors to Hannover will also see humanoid robots that use artificial intelligence to interact with people,” said Frese. For example, the Japanese roboticist Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro will be stepping out on stage to give a presentation in the company of his lifelike ‘digital twin’.
Drones, too, will be there for all to see in a whole range of applications. It’s an area Frese said has enormous potential for commercial applications, particularly when used in connection with high-performance data analysis and other digital technologies.
“These sorts of integrated drone solutions are already used for the surveillance of industrial facilities and in logistics and transport applications, where they have a very good safety and reliability record.”
Similar things can be said of virtual reality. “Virtual reality technology is still in its infancy, but it holds enormous promise for many industries,” said Frese. That’s why the show will have a special area dedicated to VR and AR (augmented reality) applications.
Driverless car technology
CeBIT visitors will be able to try out the latest developments in autonomous driving by hopping on Swiss Post’s SmartShuttles for a test drive through Hall 13. Others will also be presenting their latest advances in the field.
“Autonomous driving is the ultimate in digitisation, and visitors at CeBIT will be able to experience it first-hand,” said Frese.
“CeBIT will give visitors both a general overview and numerous examples of how digital transformation can be successfully implemented in business and government,” said Frese.
In Hall 3, for instance, attendees will get a glimpse of the future of digital office technology. And in Hall 5, they can find out more about the latest best-of-breed enterprise resource planning and process design applications. Another area will focus on security, featuring solutions to combat hackers and cybercriminals.
New business models and start-ups
This year, more than 400 young enterprises from 40 nations will have the opportunity to exhibit in an area call SCALE11. Here, attendees will be able to find out more about new trends such as blockchain technology.
Microsoft has confirmed that it will have a hugely visible presence at CeBIT 2017, showcasing its broad portfolio of business solutions alongside well over 40 partners, which will be represented throughout the expo halls.
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