This year's CeBIT provided tangible evidence of the wave of digitalization sweeping the economy and society. The highlights included a minibus equipped with artificial intelligence making it capable of answering passengers' questions, drones which can be used to inspect industrial plant and equipment and the Smart City, boasting a sustainable infrastructure and providing new services to its residents.
As this year's official Partner Country, Japan provided a spectacular display of technical innovations, sending approximately 120 businesses occupying 7,200 square meters of display space to the event, making it the largest Partner Country showcase in the history of CeBIT. Other highlights in the CeBIT program included the CeBIT Global Conferences, featuring more than 200 speakers on three different stages--including leading Japanese robotics researcher Hiroshi Ishiguro, AI visionary Ray Kurzweil--who is predicting the fusion of man and machine within the next 15 years--and social media expert Michal Kosinski, with his provocative take on psychotargeting during election campaigns. U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, speaking on live video link from his Russian exile, said that the increasingly widespread use of encryption technologies was now making it more difficult for hackers to access data, although the "golden age of secret services" remained a reality, he maintained.
Internet of Things: The new business universe
The intelligent networking of machines, infrastructure and products within a diverse range of application environments is smoothing the road to digital transformation. The extent to which the Internet of Things is already a reality was illustrated by a range of impressive showcases at CeBIT 2017--autonomous guided vehicles, for example. Visitors to the Vodafone display were able to see how vehicles equipped with LTE-V2X technology can communicate with each other to prevent accidents. And power-saving Narrowband-IoT technology, as presented by Deutsche Telekom for the connection of residential and commercial buildings, was another focal topic, along with the approaching 5G mobile telephony standard, which from the year 2020 will be used for data exchange between billions of machines and physical products.
eMobility pioneer Tesla was at CeBIT to demonstrate how electric cars can be charged at home using its Powerwall energy storage system. SAP on the other hand displayed a model airport demonstrating how the realtime analysis of...