CeBIT 2012

We head to the world's largest digital and IT trade fair in Hannover.
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01.Final wrap-up

The gallery shows some of the highlights from CeBIT. Click 'Show info' for photo descriptions.

Why are we showing a car at CeBit?

connected-car-audi-3Audi and BMW are pushing their connection technology at CeBit, with large installations to get car and tech enthusiasts excited. 

The A3 (pictured right) is Audi's first model to use the modular infotainment platform - which means internet connectivity to monitor the car's performance as well as provide web access to play media. 

The network runs on UMTS (3G) with a move to the LTE (4G) standard when the networks are more readily available. BMW has also exhibited at the show, with similar technologies using 3G and a move to LTE (4G) when available. 

There is also an agreement with Vodafone in Europe to have SIM cards issued for selected BMWs which basically makes the car a connected device. 

This sort of technology should be winding its way down to the more affordable cars with the advantage not only being able to watch Youtube in the car, but have your car's performance monitored to determine the best time to service the vehicle, as well as being able to locate and immobilise your car if stolen. 

BMW series vehicles fitted with the SIM chip will provide owners access to in-car online services, a 24/7 personal concierge service and an emergency call function. The technology can also advise the driver on how to avoid traffic jams. 

From 2015 all new cars made in Europe will be fitted with a mobile data connection and SIM card that automatically calls the emergency services in the event of an accident.

Products from CeBit to be covered by CHOICE

samsung-xcoverWhile there were many interesting products to look at during CeBit, most were not available for review. 

However some of the products will be covered by our CHOICE testers in coming weeks. 

Among the new phones seen at CeBit and the MWC at Barcelona is the Samsung XCover, a ruggadised mobile which claims to be waterproof to one metre for over 30 minutes. 

This model will be among a dozen new mobiles to be covered in the next batch of smartphones which you should see online in April.

CHOICE will also be doing a quick review of a mouse pointing device that you attach to your finger. Initial impressions when playing with the device is that it creates the feeling of working with a touch tablet device when working on a PC or Mac. 

Cloud computing has certainly been a strong theme over the past few months and CeBit also focused on the cloud as being the future. However one of the biggest issues that many don't seem to highlight or don't want to raise is how irritating it is not to have data on the device when you want it. 

Wyse has an app called the PocketCloud Remote Desktop which the company claims is a secure and fast way to remotely connect to your Mac or Windows desktop with your iPad or iPhone, no matter where you are. Access your files, pictures, and applications like Outlook, Word, Photoshop, games or any other program. 

We will review the Android and iOS versions and let you know if its as effective as the company says.

It's the world's biggest trade fair but is it still relevant?

robot-pole-dancers-1As CeBit 2012 wound down, it was obvious that the fair has lost its crown as the most relevant technology fair, with events like the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the CES in Las Vegas growing in popularity.

In fact, many of the products on show in Hannover were already announced at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona a week earlier. 

The MWC event continues to demand media attention with many companies holding off on major announcements till the event and companies such as Microsoft and Samsung seeing it as one of the biggest weeks of the year. 

Even camera and camcorder companies that have supported CeBit with huge budgets, such as Canon, Panasonic and Sony, have ditched CeBit in favour of announcements of new model lineups during the MWC. 

Media releases by the CeBit marketing machine steered journalists to products that might provide some coverage, but at times the attempts bordered on the ridiculous. 

One such 'exclusive' was to highlight the pole dancing robots that were not a product and cost thousands to hire out for events. 

While I make no comment on the merits of pole dancing, watching robots dancing in a setting that looked like a lurid backwater nightclub in a Star Wars movie was a bit disturbing.



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