IN-DEPTH: CeBIT is not what it once was but it’s still the world’s biggest computer conference. Here is the story of 2017 and why next year will be different
Finally, virtual reality (VR) was everywhere. VR, along with augmented reality (AR), is set to be one of the next truly revolutionary technologies, with the potential to transform all manner of industries, from education through to the likes of design, automotive and health.
Businesses are constantly finding new applications for the technology and the excitement surrounding VR was tangible across the various CeBIT halls.
For example, Intel was showing off an automated multi-media driving experience using a BWM i8, SAP was demonstrating a scenario that takes you into a completely digital value chain and a company called virtofy was showcasing how it is using VR tours to transform real estate.
All in all, the expo floors contained a veritable smorgasbord of innovation, with the likes of IoT, AI and VR leading the charge.
As well as the tech on show, the sheer scale of the whole event was as impressive as it was overwhelming and a select few companies pulled out all the stops when it came to showcasing their latest and greatest.
Huawei’s was one of the biggest ones there, with its ‘road to digital transformation’ booth occupying over-3500 square metres. Products and services were split into three areas – “Business”, “Technology” and “Ecosystem” and ranged from connected lightbulbs, to smart airports and digital banking platforms.
Security company Sophos also made its presence known, occupying two separate areas in the Business Security hall. One was a booth complete with a bar, while the other consisted of its ‘Intercept X’ truck as part of a global tour.
The company also created a ‘Haunted House’ in the form of a live smart home hacking simulation which provided a walk through of a simulated ‘home’ full of vulnerabilities, which could be hacked in real time.
So, there were some pretty impressive vendor booths at CeBIT 2017, many of which were actually more like miniature expos in themselves, but Salesforce undoubtedly takes the crown for biggest presence at the event, going one step further and taking up a whole hall to itself as part of its World Tour.
Blaring out music all day, everyday, the San Francisco-based cloud giant was clearly keen to make an impression and showed off multiple big-name partners including the likes of Accenture Technology, Deloitte Digital, NTT Data and Deutsche Telekom.
There were also a plethora of smaller partners in attendance, as well as daily talks and demos covering pretty much every component of the Salesforce ecosystem from commerce and sales to applications and marketing.
But the section attracting the most attention was definitely the robot football goalkeeper, present as part of a partnership with German first division club FC Schalke 04.