Highlights of the upcoming CeBIT 2014
Date: Thu, 02/13/2014 - 11:43
Media representatives from 21 nations attended the CeBIT Press Preview in Hannover, Germany, for the inside story on the IT innovations that will be on show at the upcoming CeBIT 2014. The trade fair will focus on the defining trends and developments in key growth areas of the digital economy, including Big Data, IT Security and Enterprise Communications
With CeBIT just around the corner, the digital industry is brimming with excitement and confidence. The positive mood, clearly evident at the international CeBIT Press Preview, is documented in black and white in a recent business confidence survey which Dr. Dieter Kempf, the president of the German ICT industry association BITKOM, presented at the Preview. The survey indicates that more than three quarters (78 percent) of surveyed companies expect to grow their sales over the coming six months. These expectations of good things to come are strongest among software providers and IT service providers.
The current positive sentiment in the IT industry is no doubt due in large measure to the fact that a growing number of industries are investing in IT. Continental is a case in point. The international automotive subcontractor’s new concept vehicle caused quite a stir at the Preview. There are already a number of IT-based driver assistance solutions on the market that help make roads safer with things like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and collision warning systems. But Continental’s “Driver Focus Vehicle,” developed in partnership with Cisco and IBM, takes things a step further by combating distracted driving. An infrared camera in the car’s interior constantly tracks the driver’s eyes and knows whether he or she is aware of upcoming hazards or is distracted. If the driver is distracted, a 360-degree halo of LEDs in the interior directs his or her gaze back to the hazard.
Ralf Lenninger, SVP Interior Electronics Solutions at Continental, told the Press Preview audience that the average modern vehicle can have as many as 90 computer systems on the go. Big data on wheels is growing exponentially.
And yet big data is in many cases still an untapped resource. The upcoming CeBIT show will profile several fascinating examples of a new generation of business model developed to harness this resource. Microsoft, for example, will be presenting a series of live scenarios themed “Adding Productivity to Datability.” At the Press Preview, Microsoft presented its Cloud OS platform – an integrated solution that harnesses data across all technologies, products and services. Using a fictional retailer as an example, the IT giant demonstrated how social networks can be leveraged to create a whole new level of closeness to the customer.
New business models for processing digital information in the cloud
Unify, formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications, will use CeBIT to present new modes of working made possible by the cloud. At its showcase, titled “The New Way to Work,” visitors will be able to experience a normal office plus three increasingly common alternative work environments: a train, a café and a home office. “Employees can be productive no matter where they are because data can be accessed and shared from everywhere and across all kinds of devices,” said Martin Kinne, Executive Board member and General Manager Central Europe at Unify. “The challenge is to create modern communication technologies that are fun to use and at the same time enable people to work securely and get maximum value from this new way of working.”
At this year’s CeBIT, Software AG will be taking trade visitors along with it on its “Road to the Digital Enterprise.” The Software AG Live cloud solution which the company presented at the Press Preview is intended as a complete solution for all business requirements. It’s fast, easy to use and supports collaboration across social networks and mobile devices. “Big data is converging with the other three technology megatrends – cloud, mobile and social collaboration – creating revolutionary business models that are 100 percent digital,” explained Software AG CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich. “We’re talking about a transformation that will have consequences more far reaching than everything that has gone before it in the IT world. The digital revolution will affect everyone: every industry, every company, every customer.”
With its lead theme of Datability, this year’s CeBIT will put the spotlight on business solutions for the sustainable, responsible utilization of digital information. Data security and minimizing data misuse are central to the Datability paradigm, particularly when it comes to sensitive commercial information. DATEV will be using its presence at CeBIT to profile the targeted, secure distribution of information from a data pool as a value-added service for companies and their tax accountants. DATEV currently archives and protects the financial data of around 2.5 million businesses. It uses a fully digital and largely automated process to exchange datasets between SMEs and their tax accountants and partners and some 200 German institutions. The latter include tax authorities, social insurers, health insurers and banks.
Big data analytics also a challenge for the public sector
At CeBIT 2014, German municipal IT service provider citeq will profile its home state of North Rhine-Westphalia as a pilot region for digital applications of Germany’s new personal ID system. Under the pilot scheme, which is funded by the German federal government’s “E-Government Initiative 2.0” program, convenient, easy-to-use online application forms and processes for municipal services are being developed and rolled out to residents of major North Rhine-Westphalia cities such as Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Wuppertal. On a similar note, the government of the neighboring German state of Hesse will present a number of fascinating new e-government applications at the Digital Hesse group pavilion. Among the keynote themes here will be eJustice, geographic information systems and new solutions for document and workflow management.
Security solutions from the big international players
This year’s CeBIT will feature its biggest IT security offering ever, with a solid lineup of over 500 providers. At the Preview, several of these providers offered a sneak peek at their latest innovations. Trend Micro, for instance, outlined its new Safe Mobile Workforce solution. The Safe Mobile Workforce server allocates secure workspaces in a virtual Android environment, with each user accessing their workspace securely via a Safe Mobile Workforce client app on their mobile device. The Global CTO of Trend Micro, Reimund Genes, will be speaking at the CeBIT Global Conferences.
The Kaspersky Lab showcase at this year’s CeBIT will include roundtable discussions, forums and informal lounge-format dialogue on topics such as safeguarding critical infrastructure, fraud prevention and Datability. The main event will be a 370 sqm pavilion themed “See it. Control it. Protect it. With Kaspersky, now you can.” But that’s not all. The “Godfather of IT Security,” Eugene Kaspersky, will be giving a keynote address at the CeBIT Global Conferences.
This year, DIGITTRADE will showcase its latest high-security external hard drives, which, the Press Preview audience was told, combine ease of use with maximum security for personal data. Another of the DIGITTRADE highlights at CeBIT will be the smartphone app Chiffry, which offers the twin benefits of end-to-end encrypted telephony and messaging.
Secusmart has made a name for itself throughout Europe with its hardware encryption solutions for mobile devices and its SecuSUITE tap-proof mobile phone app for BlackBerry 10. Among the company’s SecuSUITE customers are the German government including, most famously, Chancellor Merkel. Secusmart is now expanding its offering to include landline communications. In partnership with IP specialists, it has developed a tap-proof desk phone that will enable governments and businesses to conduct their affairs without fear of eavesdropping. The offering is complemented by SecuBRIDGE, a tap-proof teleconferencing application that can support up to 64 participants per session.
Enterprise communications for the most demanding applications and an app for all seasons (and platforms)
Participants in virtual meetings often find it difficult to distinguish each other’s voices. Visitors to CeBIT 2014 will be able to test a new high-quality audio service from ICT services provider British Telecommunications (BT) which solves this problem. Dubbed “BT MeetMe With Dolby Voice,” the new service, which BT developed in partnership with Dolby Laboratories, features a natural audio quality that makes remote conference call participants feel as if they are in the same room. And, in keeping with the UK’s Partner Country status at this year’s CeBIT, BT has installed the testing apparatus in an original red British telephone box (Business Lounge, Haus der Nationen).
UK company tento will be presenting it new, patented authentication system at the UK Pavilion. The company is still on the lookout for business partners who will help it realize its super secure smartphone solution.
Germany’s first carbon-positive teleconference solution, the ecotalk service by AS-Infodienste , has won this year’s CeBIT “Start Me Up” competition. For every 60 conference minutes – calculated per participant – AS-Infodienste will donate one euro to the Plant for the Planet organization, which will use that euro to plant one tree. Just by using ecotalk, many SMEs can become certifiably carbon neutral.
How can companies realize the full potential of their stakeholder relationships? German company CAS Software has the answers. Among the highlights of CAS Software ’s CeBIT 2014 showcase is the app-based CAS SmartDesign solution, which offers a secure, cloud-based software architecture and a harmonized user interface across all commonly available stationary and mobile input devices, operating systems and browsers – from iOS, Android and Blackberry, to Windows 8 and all major web browsers. Under the SmartDesign concept, the software’s individual functional elements take the form of apps. Users need only install the apps they require for their specific areas of responsibility and device types. CAS SmartDesign, which enables seamless working on all clients in the office or while on the go, is all about facilitating data entry and maintenance and, ultimately, improving data quality.
Business apps constitute an increasingly important part of the enterprise software sector – a trend which will be strongly reflected at CeBIT 2014.
CeBIT is not only the biggest global event for the IT sector, but also an exclusive hotbed for new business models and cutting-edge products. The CeBIT Press Preview in Hannover, Germany, made this amply clear.
The digital revolution is penetrating ever deeper into our work and personal lives, but information technologies only bring added value when they can be networked and adapted to users’ needs. Samsung has coined the phrase “Connecting Competence” to reflect this philosophy. On the occasion of the CeBIT Press Preview, the South Korean group offered a preview of the exhibits soon to be unveiled in Hannover: networked solutions for education, healthcare, finance, trade and the public sector. One example is the Samsung School Solution, which lets a teacher integrate a video stream into the multimedia display panel via eBoard, and students make their own notes on their Samsung tablets, add films they make themselves, or do Internet research.
Companies with interesting IT jobs and start-ups are present at CeBIT as never before
For IT workers looking for attractive employers, job and career @ CeBIT is the perfect address. The world’s largest hub for innovations and trends in the IT world is also the most important industry meeting place for IT specialists looking for new opportunities. Big-name employers such as Capgemini Germany, Deutsche Telekom, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics and Telefónica are showcasing themselves at the recruiting fair, along with companies from other sectors seeking to fill interesting IT positions.
Unconventional business ideas are particularly sought after at CeBIT: More than 450 start-ups from 60 different countries are taking part in the CODE_n14 Contest . Young companies with Big Data focused business models were invited to apply under the motto “Driving the Data Revolution.” The 50 best were selected by GFT Group, Ernst & Young and Deutsche Messe and invited to attend CeBIT, with business concepts in the fields of Health, Finance, Transportation, Manufacturing, Energy and Retail. The winner of the CODE_n14 Award is presented on 12 March.
Clever products for the digital world, today and tomorrow
Wearable electronics (electronics worn on one’s body) are an up-and-coming market in the eyes of IT insiders. The current rage is to sport a smartwatch on your wrist. Mailorder company Pearl brought a real eye-catcher to the Press Preview with the first smartphone in wristwatch format. The AW-420.RX by simvalley MOBILE is delivered with Android 4.2 and a Google app pack. There is even room in the ultracompact metal housing for a three-megapixel camera for videos and photos and a memory card slot. Another novelty presented by Pearl at CeBIT is a new, luxuriously equipped Android car radio: With the NavGear DSR-N 270 in 2-DIN format, users enjoy live navigation via the Internet, WLAN, Bluetooth and entertainment on a huge 6.2-inch color display.
The upcoming CeBIT focuses on retrofit networking of apartments and houses with cloud services at digitalSTROM. One example of these new services is voice activation of various functions via smartphone. For this feature, digitalSTROM combines its own programming interface with Google Now. The service transforms verbal commands into texts, which are then translated into control commands for the technology. The result is the dS Listener app that allows customers to control their smart homes with their voices.
Another cutting-edge field is the technologies surrounding the new 3D printers. These devices manufacture actual products from digital blueprints, but until now they were only for professionals. Oldenburg, Germany based iGo3D intends to make the printing of objects accessible to a much broader public. From household tools to original promotional articles or toys for youngsters – iGo3D offers a constantly growing selection of everything you need for 3D production in its stores and online.
Display and projector specialist BenQ impresses at CeBIT with its large-format BL3200PT business screen display. The upscale design of this 32-inch diagonal screen with 2,560 by 1,440 WQHD resolution in 16:9 format make this LED display the focus point of any desktop – with around 77 percent more workspace and 1.7 times more pixels than a conventional Full HD monitor. The Taiwanese firm also has a new model for business and home cinema use in the running: its BenQ TH681. With its high luminosity of 3000 ANSI lumens and light weight, the DLP projector ensures brilliant video playback anywhere.
Networked technologies from agriculture to a highly secure multitouch table
With its partners the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM), hannoverimpuls and the Industry 4.0 Platform, the Industrial Users Conference in CeBIT Hall 12 offers a new networking hub for IT experts, innovation drivers and decision-makers from the user industries. Premium sponsors such as Lufthansa Systems, KYOCERA and Microsoft provide eye-opening looks into the future of industry networking. Interesting showcases are also on hand – such as that of agricultural machine manufacturer CLAAS. High-tech products such as the first combine harvester with intelligent sensors demonstrate how networking reaches even into agriculture: the machine can adjust itself automatically to all harvesting conditions. Image processing company Pixolus, founded in December 2013, has won out over more than 60 participants from around the globe in Deutsche Messe’s “Start Me Up” contest. These specialists from Cologne, Germany, develop technologies for automatic data capture via smartphone camera, and are presenting their meter reading app at CeBIT. The offer is directed in particular towards companies that want to extend their existing solution to include camera-based data collection. Its components can be integrated into a variety of hardware and software platforms.
The three winners of the 2014 CeBIT Innovation Awards – Kinematics, Fiberio and Shoutr – also presented their noteworthy projects at the Press Preview. The Kinematics construction game enables young people of all ages to build independently mobile robots without any previous experience or computer knowledge. The plug connectors with integrated power and data transmission and the tool kit with its movement-enabled modules are particularly innovative.
Fiberio is a multitouch table that identifies fingerprints in fractions of a second. This allows multiple users to be recognized without registration or login – for example when collaborating on digital documents. The technology relies on a novel fiberglass material.
With the shoutr app, Android phone users can exchange images and music between smartphones and other mobile devices held close to each other. A direct connection between the devices is established via WLAN, without transitioning through clouds, servers or other Internet services. The security of transferred data is ensured with WPA2 encryption.
While these concepts are nearly or already market-ready, another live presentation at the Press Preview had more of a science-fiction feel: Who would not love to simply pen messages in the air, rather than using the virtual keyboard on a smartphone screen? This dream is destined for reality, if the IT experts from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have anything to say about it: they have developed a system where sensors attached to a glove detect these movements, and a computer system captures the signals and translates them into print. The system offers completely new potential for wearable computing applications.
The amazing humanoid robot Roboy, who traveled to Hannover from the Artificial Science Lab at ETH Zurich , is an even bigger step into the future. This “machine man” has artificial tendons and bones, and many miniature electric motors to gently move its limbs like muscles. Roboy can wave and shake hands, and even shows emotion, winking his blue eyes cheerfully, and turning red when he is feeling unwell. Roboy makes his big CeBIT appearance starting on 10 March in the Swiss Pavilion in Hall 9.
Above, image credited to CeBIT