Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Enterprise Trade Show Welcomes Back Consumer Tech

Peter Sayer | Feb. 24, 2011
Not only are consumer IT products finding their way into the enterprise, they're also finding their way back into Cebit, one of the world's biggest professional IT shows, which opens in Hanover, Germany, next week.

Fujitsu will show its M440 ECO mouse. Like most other mice these days it has an optical sensor, two buttons and a scroll wheel -- but unusually its cable is PVC-free and it is made mostly of natural, biodegradable materials. How's that for planned obsolescence?

Acknowledging that most users can't remember secure passwords, Psylock suggests allowing them to authenticate themselves by entering text that isn't secret at all -- identifying them by the characteristic rhythms and errors in their typing. It will show its keystroke analysis software in Hall 11.

In addition to products just entering the market, Cebit is also about the future. Two halls are devoted to Cebit Lab, a showcase for research, and there's also a startup conference, Webciety, with contestants pitching for funding every day in Hall 6.

This year's Cebit will have over 4,200 exhibitors from 70 countries, picking up from a low last year of 4,157 exhibitors from 68 countries, but still far from the peak of 8,093 exhibitors in 2001. The big question, though, is whether the new formula will please visitors: Last year's show drew 334,000 from 83 countries, a shadow of the show's 2001 record of 850,000.

Cebit runs from March 1 through 5 at the Hanover Fair Grounds. It will be opened this year by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with IBM (IBM) CEO Sam Palmisano delivering the keynote speech.

Palmisano, though, may be eclipsed by one of his company's creations. To be found in Hall 2, it's a computer composed of 90 IBM Power 750 Express servers, capable of questioning answers formulated in natural language in the style of the TV quiz show Jeopardy. As the computer itself might conclude: "Who is Watson?"


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.