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CeBIT 2012: Microsoft gets sexy, Optimus Comes To Life, 3D and Brazil

By its own assertion, the Paris air show of the digital world is here with us. Though of lesser profile as compared to its aviation counterpart, the CeBIT – that runs from the 6th to 10th of March 2012 in Hanover, Germany- is undeniably so central to life in the 21st century. Like any other industry show, CeBIT 2012, was an arena for industry executives to flaunt the latest undertakings of the teams that they lead, and at the same go, wet consumers appetites for future offerings.

CeBIT 2012 brought to for the prospect of driverless cars bringing to mind Optimus Prime like this depiction of fast car and robot beast

Any industry show is a perfect opportunity to take stock of the latest advances, for brands to build their equity, for wheeler dealing and most excitingly, a showcase of just what all those dollars pumped into research and development departments does, with the display of futuristic concept pieces.

Wheeler Dealing at CeBIT

Just how many times will we see/hear the word ‘Brazil’ in the media? Going by the hype, we are willing to bet that Brazil will be the term to beat early front runners: euro zone economic crisis, Greece bailout and Greek default and  top the trending key word list this second decade of the 21st Century.

To Brazil, 2014 brings the football World Cup. 2016 ushers in the Summer Olympics. 2010 was the year that saw this BRICS country, banishing the double edged sword of a growing population and soaring GDP levels as is the norm in to these group of emerging  market economies, announce itself to the world, as the seventh largest economy. Might we emphasize, overtake a struggling United Kingdom that to date, is still fighting off a double –dip recession.

2012 marked the year when Brazil was the official partner state for the CeBIT.  What this means is that besides Brazil being recognized as a frontier in Information technology, with the CeBIT 2012 in Brazil, there’s likely to be a Brazilian contingent of government officials and other important people in search of business suitors for mega deals ranging from IT all the way to petroleum. Big guys like Microsoft.

Microsoft Brand Building at the CeBIT 2012

Often, Microsoft products remind one of Susan Bould. Oh! so good does not necessarily mean attractive.  As you might also have noted is the case with this silk voiced late night radio personalities and those advertisement voice over people. For Microsoft, CeBIT 2012, was a case of ‘now that the cat is away, the mouse can play’. For long, when it comes to the design aspects of an application’s user interface, Steve Jobs’s Apple was the cat, Bill Gates’s Microsoft the mouse.

At the 2012 CeBIT, Microsoft got its groove back with the unveiling of the Metro look design for its applications. Metro? We like the word already, so 21st Century-like. The folks over at Microsoft stress that the new Metro look for Microsoft applications, is all about taking user experience to the next level. We will wait and see.

Advances in the Digital World

3D is eating your cake and having it. The good communications people at CeBIT go to great lengths to endear this technology further to us the consumers, as if there is need to. Dah, for heaven’s sake it’s,  3D! Nonetheless, the usual sales pitch that accompanies anything IT:  a rider on how much technology x has contributed to health care is not to be left out.

On the CeBIT official site, we are informed that with 3D, the dreaded trip to the dentist is sugared up by a mention of how dentists are making use of the technology. The little health rider is all fine by us. Our only wish is that as much emphasis was placed in developing health care aiding technologies, as much is put on say e-commerce.  All the same, as the CeBIT official site drums it up:

“S3D special exhibition area in 2012, now in a larger space ……….The combined effect of the Next Level S3D / Expo joint stand, the Next Level S3D ProCinema area and the individual exhibitors showcases all aspects of 3D technology to highlight this exciting and innovative sector……..Trade professionals and consumers appreciate this new marketplace as much as industry and media representatives, who can experience the latest 3D hardware, 3D software and 3D content creations first-hand.”

The Future according to CeBIT

When Henry Ford was at it: making his dream of seeing to it that the innovation of the time, the automobile, gets produced for the masses, it was all about mechanics. Later on, manufacturing a car that fit the needs of the times meant electronics had to be an integral part. In the 21st Century, an automobile is not useful technology if it is not intelligent.

Meaning, over the decades, car manufacturing has become less about mechanics and electronics, more about computing power. The more the computing power, the more a car aligns to the needs to the discerning 21st Century car shopper.The more robotic a car, the intelligent it is, better it seems.

This is beyond ABS and GPS. It is about artificial Intelligence, electric motors and sustainability. The damn thing has to drive itself and just like a robot, as depicted in the cartoon series made into a movie- The Transformers, posses mind boggling ‘transformation’ abilities. Consider this from the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center:

EO:Modular Personal Transportation

The EO smart connecting car can slide sideways into narrow parking spaces, turn on a dime, drive diagonally, lift individual wheels, and identify other vehicles and communicate with their drivers. What’s more, an integrated feature makes it possible to join together several electric cars to form a convoy.

Finally, the Boring Important Stuff

The running theme of CeBIT 2012 is “Managing Trust”. The headline of this year’s show is drawn from the bigger digital industry drive towards wider adoption of Cloud based technologies that was the highlight of the2011 CeBIT edition of the theme: “Work & Life with the Cloud”.

We at here have mulled over the ethics of intelligent distributed computing, blindly so until recently when a server hitch almost rendered volumes of our data gone- like with the wind! Yeah. It only gets real when it hits you. No telling what what we had to undergo to restore normalcy. That sh*t  was/is even more scary than the thought of having data sensitive to your organization remotely held by a third party.

Going by this experience, cloud computing is something every business ought to consider. Moreover, as mobile computing continues to be integral to living in  the 21st century : as our mobile devices turn into our wallets, media consumption devices,  even blood pressure machines, the rising importance of m-security solutions displays at the CeBIT  2012 is welcomed.

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