More than 30 exhibitors used the event to give an exclusive preview of the highlights they have in store for the show this coming June.
The ICT industry is in the midst of a period of sustained growth, with a record 86 percent of German ICT companies predicting their sales to grow this year. "The new CEBIT is really getting people fired up about digitization," Bitkom President Achim Berg announced to the Preview audience at Hannover’s New Town Hall, giving voice to a general sense of optimism inspired by technologies that are changing every aspect of our professional and personal lives. And arguably the most inspiring of these technologies is artificial intelligence, the spark that makes software smart and enables machines to think autonomously.
One of the biggest names in this exciting area is the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), which is currently partnering with various organizations to develop AI solutions for self-driving vehicles. At CEBIT, the latest results of this research will feature at a group display mounted by DFKI’s Competence Center for Autonomous Driving (Hall 27, Sand F62). Another DFKI highlight is Footstriker, a foot strike assistant that uses electrical muscle stimulation to help runners strike the ground with the mid or forefoot first, rather than their heel, thereby reducing strain on joints. Footstriker is a wearable system (running shoe insole) equipped with force sensors, and it will be on show at CEBIT (Saarland University display, Hall 27, Stand G75).
Artificial intelligence is probably at its viscerally most impressive when it takes on human-like form. The humanoid robot Pepper by SoftBank Robotics astounded Preview attendees with its speech recognition skills, its ability to respond to human emotion, and its ability to meet and greet shoppers and explain products. SoftBank has announced that it will be using CEBIT to present a software development kit (SDK) that third parties can use to develop Android apps for Pepper. The show will also feature a live demo of how Pepper’s new multi-chatbot integration enables it to help people find hotels and flights (Hall 17, Stand B44).
Artificial intelligence will also feature prominently at the IBM showcase at CEBIT. IBM’s Watson platform enables businesses to make better informed decisions and take advantage of new forms of collaboration. "Our aim is basically to demonstrate the technologies and skills that can be used to improve our economy, our environment and our lives," explained IBM spokesperson Christine Paulus. Accordingly, IBM will be presenting customer reference projects that will make the benefits of AI real and tangible. It will also be showcasing a voice-controlled chatbot that takes the place of conventional owner manuals in Mercedes 2018 E-Class and S-Class vehicles (Pavilions P34 and P35, open-air site).
Oracle NetSuite used the CEBIT Preview to highlight a range of intelligent solutions for automating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Human Capital Management (HCM) processes. Oracle NetSuite is expanding its global network of field offices, datacenters and in-country teams so that it can offer customers worldwide the ability to manage multiple branch offices from a single, standardized business platform and receive global information in real time (Hall 17, Stand B50).
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) signaled that its showcase at CEBIT would feature a solution that leverages machine learning to hunt down hackers in the Internet of Things. IoT cyber attacks often go undetected because they consist of small, incremental exploits perpetrated over extended time periods. HPE’s security solution Aruba IntroSpect sniffs out these kinds of attacks by detecting even the most minor of changes in device and user behavior. Other AI applications at the HPE showcase include self-repairing production machines and computers that can compare millions of disease symptoms to find the right medication (Hall 12, Stand D47).
CEBIT Preview attendees also learned that the pavilion organized by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology – BMBF (Hall 27, E52) will include a showcase by the government’s Learning Systems platform. The showcase will present a range of learning systems from various fields and providers. Among them will be the health app Ada developed by Berlin-based startup Ada Health. The app uses self-learning algorithms to help doctors and patients find diagnoses. CEBIT visitors will be able to chat with Ada at the show.
AI also features prominently in the offerings of two hot contenders for the CEBIT Innovation Award 2018. One of these is DIVERA 24/7, an app designed to streamline personnel deployment planning for civil protection and disaster relief organizations. The app can also be used in other sectors, such as event management and hospital-based healthcare (Hall 27, BMBF Stand E52).
The other contender is AIPARK, an app that helps drivers find parking spaces. The app tracks about 60 million parking spaces and predicts availability based on geographic information and long-term datasets such as traffic, traffic-light and weather data (Hall 27, Stand E52).
First autonomous drone to receive blessing from Germany’s aviation regulator
The EmQopter drone by EmQopter was hard at work at the Preview, delivering cakes to attendees. It is the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to meet Germany’s strict safety regulations for fully autonomous flight in urban airspace. A special landing system automatically maps and tracks all features of the environment below the vehicle, thereby enabling it to make safe autonomous landings. If all systems fail, the drone deploys a parachute to reach the ground safely (Hall 27, Stand C69/9).
Huawei Enterprise Business Group announced at the CEBIT Preview that it would be showcasing infrastructure backbone technologies for various digital industries, plus an array of new developments in the areas of predictive maintenance, connected vehicles, smart cities and smart banking. Huawei plans to use AI, IoT and other technologies to develop the "central nervous system of smart cities". Its approach is holistic, encompassing everything from top-level architecture to complete ecosystems. This includes the development of ultrafast computing and network resources to maximize mobile data transfer rates – a key consideration as the age of 5G draws near (Hall 13, Stand C01 and open-air site, Stand T10).
These themes will also be on the agenda at the Japanese-German Wireless Forum on IoT-enabled Digital Industry, which will be held on CEBIT Tuesday, 12 June (Hall 13, Expert Stage). The forum will present both countries’ initiatives to develop the 5G standard and other wireless technologies needed for tomorrow’s smart factories. Japan’s presence on the Expert Stage will be complemented by the Japan Pavilion, which is organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and will feature 20 pioneering Japanese technology firms (Hall 12, Stand D123).
Static configuration is a thing of the past. This June, LANCOM will transport CEBIT visitors to an exciting new world in which configuration of networks in accordance with the growing requirements of digitization is agile and highly automated. The key to it all is the LANCOM Management Cloud, a hyper-integrated network management solution that intelligently provisions and administers even the most complex of network architectures, making time-consuming and often error-prone manual configuration a thing of the past (Hall 13, Stand C112).
AVM will be presenting its new FRITZ! WLAN-Mesh system, a technology that intelligently and efficiently routes data across multi-node networks. "We will be running two stands, where visitors will be able to come along and see how our system works. Our mesh system can be scaled to meet all WiFi range requirements, from small apartments to large, multi-office business environments," explained AVM’s Communications Director, Urban Bastert (Hall 13, Stand C94; open-air site, Stand R54)
"In Germany, there are 19 million people living in the digital Dark Ages because they don’t have access to the Internet," says Paul Lunow, Founder and CEO of NEPOS. The tech startup wants to change that and connect people – especially seniors – with the Web. Its solution: a tablet with a simple user interface that is the same in every application and use scenario. The user interface is based on HTML5, so it can display all types of online content (Hall 27, Stand C47/1).
Note for media representatives: For further information on the CEBIT Preview on 15 May 2018 in Hannover, Germany, including press releases from exhibitors, visit https://www.cebit.de/en/press/press-events/cebit-preview .
Photos of the CEBIT Preview are available for download here: http://www.messe.de/bilddatenbank?keyword=CEBIT-Preview.
At CEBIT 2018, everything is geared to generating business, leads and bright ideas. With its exhibitor displays, expert conferences and prime networking opportunities, CEBIT is a triple-punch event covering everything essential to the digitization of business, government and society. The innovations on display in the d!conomy section of the show give IT professionals and decision-makers from the realms of business, trade and the public sector the tools they need to streamline and futureproof their operations by leveraging digitization to the fullest. The event’s d!tec showcase puts the spotlight on developers and startups and their disruptive business models, as well as on research institutes giving us a glimpse of tomorrow’s game-changing technologies. The d!talk conference program features visionaries, lateral thinkers, creatives and experts from around the globe. The d!campus is the beating heart of CEBIT – the place where everyone gets together for relaxed networking, street food and live music. CEBIT presents the digital transformation in a totally new way, while retaining its core focus on business, leads and more leads. The first day of CEBIT 2018 – Monday, 11 June – is reserved for conference attendees and journalists, with the exhibition opening on Tuesday, 12 June. The exhibition halls will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the d!campus staying open till 11 p.m. on those days. Opening hours on Friday are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CEBIT Events Worldwide give Deutsche Messe’s customers even more ways of reaching their international clientele, e.g. in dynamic markets such as China, Australia, Thailand and Spain.