2018, year when the CEBIT reinvents itself to become a digital fair-festival. Let’s have a look black on that event where we were.

A Brand-new CEBIT

Existing since 1986, the CEBIT had its best years in the 1990s-2000s. There were then up to 6,500 exhibitors and 800,000 visitors.
Declining since, the CEBIT chose to transform into a fair-festival. Classic exhibition stands stay in the halls, meanwhile an open-air area in the middle of the exhibition grounds is dedicated to the festival. We can find there a Ferris wheel (SAP), a cloud lifter (IBM), a surf wave (INTEL), … various food trucks and concerts in evenings.
Exhibitors in the festival area really played the game to put forward the entertainment before showing their solutions. In the halls, exhibition stands remain classic.

Opinions differ on this transformation choice and its potential success. From our impressions, the mixing of business and fun is not a problem. There is always a quiet place for discussions, whereas more informal conversations and contacts are developed simply during festive moments.

 

All digital innovations are visible on the CEBIT, from the 3D printer to drones, passing by smart city and autonomous vehicles. From our impressions, two trends stand out:

  • The cobots, the collaboratives robots in industry
  • Virtual and augmented reality, beyond entertainment

 

Cobots

Many robots were showcased at the CEBIT. It’s not new, will you reply, and be right. What impressed us is the development of collaborative robots or cobots (from the contraction of the two terms). These robots work near humans and are more seen as assistants. Equipped with cameras and sensors, they are able to detect humans’ movements and deduce a needed action: bringing or moving an object, holding an object meanwhile someone works on it, etc.
They can learn new tasks without programming their software, which ease their use and their adoption by the workers around them.

The purpose of the constructers of these collaborative robots is to improve the health at work by making the robots do the repetitive and physical tasks.

 

Virtual and Augmented Reality

During the CEBIT, we noticed that these fields start to find their utility beyond the entertainment sector. Professional uses are developed for industry, healthcare, etc.

Virtual reality makes possible to have a virtual environment all around you. It’s very useful for example for the medical community (simulation of surgery, visualization of the body tissues …). It can also be used for professional training, allowing to combine theoretical learning with virtual practice, before going to real practice. This is interesting for training on very specific machines and environments, that are for example rarely stopped.
Many other uses are being developed.

Augmented reality, for its part, “acts” on the surrounding world to project elements, information, etc. It will be for example a projection of a prototype before manufacturing it in order to have a better appreciation of its different elements, or it can be glasses displaying information in an industrial environment (for example the heat of an engine, helping to find a broken piece …)

 

To conclude, the CEBIT remains a key fair to see trends in the digital -especially with the startups of #scale11-, meet and listen to the major players of this sector. The shift that the CEBIT takes is a bold challenge: we wish it to succeed!