Artificial intelligence, drones, humanoid robots, autonomous systems and the Internet of Things – they’re all expressions of the digitalization wave that’s transforming business, government and society at breathtaking speed. CeBIT 2017 will take its visitors deep into the digitalization phenomenon, exploring its transformative potential across entire value chains and examining every aspect of tomorrow’s disruptive digital technologies.
Hannover. In just eight weeks’ time, the gates will be opening on CeBIT 2017. The show will feature a wealth of disruptive technologies, new business models and application scenarios – in short, everything needed for the digital transformation of business and government. “CeBIT 2017 will make digitalization tangible for visitors in a way they have never experienced before,” Deutsche Messe Managing Board member Oliver Frese announced to the press on Wednesday in Hannover, Germany. In the exhibition halls, a good 3,000 companies from 70 nations will present real-life application scenarios, and a small army of startups will profile their disruptive business models, while at the CeBIT Global Conferences digital visionaries will explore the digital future of business and society.
On 19 March, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of this year’s Partner Country, Japan, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will officially open CeBIT 2017 in the presence of more than 2,000 VIP guests at the Welcome Night ceremony in Hall 9 of the Hannover Exhibition Center. The Partner Country, alone, is fielding around 120 companies to appear in every segment of the show.
“CeBIT 2017 will raise the curtain on the future of business and society. It will make digitalization a tangible reality,” Frese told the audience of more than 120 international journalists at the CeBIT Preview. This year’s CeBIT is headlined “d!conomy – no limits,” a lead theme that puts the spotlight squarely on the boundless opportunities of the digital transformation. “Digital innovation is opening up a whole new world of possibilities for business and society. Enabling companies to recognize them and leverage them for successful digital transformation – that’s what CeBIT 2017 is all about,” Frese commented. Exhibiting firms will be treating visitors to several hundred application scenarios demonstrating optimal digitalization.
Among much else, the exhibits and presentations will feature a wide array of new applications for artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. “There is a vast and diverse range of applications for artificial intelligence, particularly in business,” explained Frese. “For instance, AI can be used to undertake more comprehensive analyses of big data and link data sets in innovative new ways. Another example is the use of bot systems in communicating with customers.”
Artificial intelligence will also feature heavily at the CeBIT Global Conferences – such as when Google Director of Engineering and internationally renowned AI expert and futurist Ray Kurzweil takes the stage.
“Visitors to Hannover will also see humanoid robots that use artificial intelligence to interact with people,” Frese noted. For example, the Japanese roboticist Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro will be stepping out at the Conferences in the almost unnervingly lifelike company of his digital twin. “CeBIT will thus provide major inspiration on the shape of things to come,” remarked Frese.
Drones, too, will be there for all to see in a whole range of applications. Frese: “Drones and unmanned systems have 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,” commented Frese. The upcoming CeBIT show will in fact have a new showcase dedicated entirely to VR and AR (augmented reality) applications.
Drones are of course also mobile components of the Internet of Things – an aspect of their functionality that offers major potential for new business models and added value. “Next-generation 5G mobile connectivity will make networks faster and thus expedite the mobile Internet of Things. This will spur on completely new IoT applications, such as self-driving cars,” said Frese. CeBIT visitors can get a hands-on taste of this trailblazing technology by taking Swiss Post’s autonomous SmartShuttles for a test drive through Hall 13. Numerous other companies will also be presenting their latest advances in the field. “Autonomous driving is the ultimate in digitalization, and visitors at CeBIT will be able to experience it first-hand,” enthused Frese.
Driverless car technology and many other concrete digitalization applications and showcases will also feature in the “discover d!conomy” highlight tour of the show. “CeBIT will thus give visitors both a general overview and numerous examples of how digital transformation can be successfully implemented in business and government,” explained Frese. “Anyone visiting CeBIT 2017 will quickly realize how essential digitalization is to securing a competitive edge, and how remarkably straightforward it is to implement.”
That both enterprises and government organizations can indeed transition to data-driven business models quickly and without major outlay will be clearly evident in an array of practical scenarios. Hall 3, for instance, will put the spotlight on digital office technology. And then there’s Hall 5, with its lineup of best-of-breed enterprise resource planning (ERP) and process design applications. Highlights include a showcase demonstrating how individual steps in the automotive industry value chain can be digitalized. Meanwhile, Hall 6, which is dedicated to security, will feature solutions to combat hackers and cybercriminals.
One of the big magnets of this year’s show is SCALE11 in Hall 11 –home base for startups at CeBIT. More than 400 young enterprises from 40 nations will demonstrate just how rapidly digitalization is sparking new companies and new business models. The startups will be joined at SCALE11 by numerous large, established corporations, who will be profiling their own startup development and support initiatives. The big names here include Deutsche Bahn, Volkswagen and Mastercard. Hall 11 will also take a close look at a whole range of big new trends. For example, there will be conferences on various digital applications, including blockchain technology, which is a major source of new business models for startups. There will also be plenty of up-and-coming young companies at the Research & Innovation showcase in Hall 6. The showcase will feature leading German and international research institutions and universities, including the finalists for the 2017 CeBIT Innovation Award.
Another wow factor will be the showcase mounted by this year’s Partner Country, Japan, which is staging two high-profile group pavilions in halls 4 and 12, as well as numerous individual company displays in the other halls. All up, this year’s CeBIT will feature about 120 Japanese companies. “With its winning Partner Country showcase, Japan is certain of making a huge impact,” said Frese, adding: “The Partner Country showcase is an important example of cooperation between Japan and Germany, and CeBIT 2017 will help to further strengthen ties between these two major economic powers.”
The CeBIT Global Conferences are a core part of the CeBIT experience, and this year’s conferences boast a truly stellar line-up of speakers. Among the big names are Google engineer and futurist Ray Kurzweil, the famed roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, and Stanford professor and social researcher Michal Kosinski. An expert in psychometrics, Kosinski has developed a mathematical method that analyzes Facebook likes and other publicly available data to determine people’s personality traits. The speaker list also includes someone who is arguably the world’s most famous whistleblower – Ed Snowden. Snowden will be joining the proceedings via live stream from Moscow.
CeBIT – Global Event for Digital Business
CeBIT is the world’s foremost event on the wave of digitalization revolutionizing every aspect of business, government and society. Every year, the show features a lineup of around 3,000 exhibitors and attracts some 200,000 visitors to its home base in Hannover, Germany. The spotlight is on all the latest advances in fields such as artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, virtual and augmented reality, humanoid robots and drones. Thanks to a rich array of application scenarios, CeBIT makes digitalization tangible in the truest sense of the word. “d!conomy – no limits”, the chosen lead theme for 2017, underscores the show’s emphasis on revealing the wealth of opportunities arising from the digital transformation. As a multifaceted exhibition/conference/networking event, CeBIT is a perennial must for everyone involved in the digital economy. The startup scene is also right at home at CeBIT and its dedicated SCALE 11 showcase, which sports more than 400 aspiring young enterprises. The next CeBIT will be staged from 20 to 24 March 2017, with Japan as its official Partner Country. For further information, visit www.cebit.de.