CeBIT in Hanover is considered one of the world’s most important events for the digitalisation of business, administration and society. This year’s motto is “d!conomy – no limits”, and the focus this year is on digital transformation in particular. It will be especially exciting to see what visions the exhibitors from all over the world will present for interesting topics like the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence or between reality and virtual reality, because digitalisation is changing business and society alike. All of these topics are also of great interest to designers, as they open up huge potential for designers to tread innovative paths in design incorporating new technologies on the one hand, while on the other allowing them to participate in shaping these future realities for life in new ways.
Digitalisation in the area of products
The overlap between “traditional” products and digitalisation is increasing all the time. Manufacturers and designers are faced with the task of designing high-tech, intelligent products in a way that people are not afraid of them and can control them. This applies equally to connected products – The Internet of Things – and to robots or drones. Compared to recent years, the number of products from this field entered in the Red Dot Award: Product Design rose significantly this year. The adjudication process took place just a few weeks ago. This development is proof that especially many companies that are still in their infancy are consciously using design in this area, not only to position themselves as well as possible in the competition from the outset, but also to achieve the greatest acceptance possible for these products, some of which are still new. Some of this year’s Red Dot winners are sure to present their products with their newly earned awards at CeBIT for the first time.
Will humans become obsolete? CeBIT partner country Japan
This year, the partner country to the CeBIT is Japan. This Asian country has already proved exceptionally open to new technological developments in the past, and for a long time was a leader in the development of high-tech devices. Nowadays the country is a world leader in digitalisation, investing billions in research and development in areas such as humanoid robots, artificial intelligence and The Internet of Things. These topics are also of interest to Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, Director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory in the Department of Adaptive Machine Systems at Ōsaka University. In his keynote speech on 21 March as part of the Global Conferences, he will speak about “Androids, robots and our future life” in an effort to answer the question of whether robots will replace humans in the long term. He will bring along his own robot “twin”.
More than 120 companies and institutions in Japan will be represented at the trade fair, including many companies that have won Red Dot Design Awards in the past with their design achievements. The Japanese presence will be focused at a central stand in Hall 4.
Until 19 March, the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen will show the exhibition “Under the Sign of the Circle: Red Dot awarded Design Innovations from Japan”. [DS1] Here, too, the focus of the exhibition is on technological innovations by global players such as Canon, Sony and Yamaha.
Automotive industry and digitalisation: the seismic shift
The automotive industry is confronted with major changes. Driverless cars is the big topic on everyone’s lips. Although driverless cars are not yet ready for series production on the market, the vehicles are already pretty intelligent. The entries in the Vehicles category of the Red Dot Award: Product Design bear testimony to this. This year, there was scarcely any car that did not have the latest infotainment and safety technologies as well as driver assistance systems.
How automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers intend to master this digital transition going forward is also the topic of the 9th automotiveIT Congress as part of the CeBIT, which will be held under the motto “Automotive Business – from the classic to the agile IT” on 23 March 2017.
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CeBIT 2017 Global Event for Digital Business
Dates: 20 to 24 March 2017
Opening hours: daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
List of exhibitors: http://www.cebit.de/de/ausstellung/aussteller-produkte/
Map of exhibition: http://www.cebit.de/de/teilnahme-planung/fuer-besucher/maps/
Information on the programme: http://www.cebit.de/de/konferenzen-events/konferenz-eventprogramm/
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Posted on 20.02.2017