GITEX stands head and shoulders above any other tech expo in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, both in terms of quality and quantity. It’s the place for inventors and innovators to see and be seen, a place for companies to make big announcements, unveil new products, and close deals. This was the 39th time Dubai hosted GITEX, with displays from robots and drones to online security features. Here, we’re going to show you the best launches that we found on our trip to the exhibition, let’s see what we came across!
How GITEX 2019 Sized Up to Last Year
In 2018, GITEX welcomed attendees from more than 120 nations and the big players in global media, ready to delve into solutions for AI, blockchain, robotics, and all the other tech buzzwords we love to learn about. With 21 halls, 4,000 exhibitors, and 24 sectors represented last time around, we decided to go big and head to Dubai to see what was on offer for 2019.
The hot topics of this year were:
- 5G technology, with a focus on the entire ecosystem that can be built around the new mobile tech, showcasing real-world applications for consumers and industry.
- Future mobility, covered in a free conference and exhibition at GITEX, transportation was a big theme including driverless cars and automated traffic management.
- Artificial Intelligence had its own zone dedicated to the tech, with five days chock full of learning, including a dedicated conference stage, workshops, an exhibition area, and panel discussions all focussed on machine learning.
- Lifestyle Tech was catered for with a big nod to our eternally connected lifestyle, with new consumer products set to make waves in the way we live and work. The Lifestyle Tech arena covered innovations in smart homes, wearables, mobile accessories, and smart healthcare, among others.
- Smart cities was a major area of focus of GITEX, showcasing how tech is taming the urban jungle and keeping our communities connected, greener, and happier places for citizens to live.
Also featured was the inaugural GITEX Awards show, honoring the most ambitious projects across the entire gamut of the technology industry, recognized through nine awards categories.
To put this year’s event into numbers, there were: 26 technology sectors covering smart homes, gaming, business, and graphic design to name but a few; 2 primary pavilions – Future Stars showcasing more than 750 startups, representing 75 countries, with 400 investors and accelerators present, covering 19 tech sectors; and the Smart Cities Pavilion, dedicated to showing off the technological revolution in smart city innovation that Dubai is at the forefront of. We’ve got an article that dives deep into this subject; looking at what Dubai is doing to shape the cities of tomorrow.
5 Launches We Loved at GITEX 2019
Socializing with Furhat Robotics
A big highlight at the Etisalat at the expo was the social robot presented by Furhat Robotics. As well as listening and speaking, the robot uses light projections to display emotions on its face and maintain eye contact – all powered by artificial intelligence. Visitors got to personally interact with what was dubbed the “world’s most social robot”, with its inventors seeing the great real-world potential, especially in the retail sector. The CEO of Furhat Robotics, Samer Al Moubayed, was present and looking for partnerships to get the robot launched in the region. Along with retail, the company is aiming for you to get to know their robots as they act as airport information points, concierges in malls, and even office assistants. The ability to have real conversations and even teach languages to make this a stand-out piece of kit.
Whizzing Around at Virgin Hyperloop One
Hyperloop One had everyone buzzing at the exhibition, with the train promising transport from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes flat. The system works on electromagnetic levitation (mag-lev) technology, pushing levitated pods through low-pressure tubes at speeds up to 760 mph. There’s been plenty of talk and debate about the future of mass transit systems, and the future was showcased at GITEX. Expected to become commercially viable by 2027-8, visitors were able to get more of an understanding of the concept by stepping into a passenger pod prototype.
Tech Breakfast with Chef Mouza
Pancakes are one of the best breakfasts ever, and at GITEX you could find Chef Mouza banging out plates and serving them with coffee. Why is a tech magazine telling you this? Well, Mouza is actually a pair of robotic arms that work with utensils, ingredients, and tools to whip up the perfect plate of pancakes each time. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) presented the cool robotic chef, who can do everything you expect – crack eggs, whizz batter, toss the pancakes, and serve the perfect cup of Joe to boot.
Exploring Virtual Reality with Vive Cosmos
Do you remember the movie “Ready Player One”? The one where humanity uses virtual reality software to escape the desolation of their meagre and desolate existence? The movie’s far-out tech is closer than you think. For now, were not fighting for magical, in-game artifacts to stay alive, but who knows what awaits us in the future? Best to get honing your post-apocalyptic skills, just in case.
At GITEX the HTC Vive introduced the not out of this world PC VR, which has six camera sensors, crystal-clear graphics, and high-quality audio to provide you with an impressive experience. Besides, the company took the chance to confirm functions and features that are going into the new Vive Cosmos VR headset, including how much it’s going to cost in different regions, where it’ll be sold, and pre-order bonuses for exhibition attendees. The latest incarnation of the premium, PC-based, VR headset has reached new levels of accessibility and ease of use. The Vive Cosmos aims to grow with its users with features such as a modular faceplate design that lets you change what the headset can do, using the freshly announced VIVE Cosmos External Tracking Mod, for example.
A motorbike helicopter
This isn’t the next gadget in the latest James Bond movie, and yes, it is as cool as it sounds. This motorcycle that flies can drive on the road yet the wheels can also fold out, point upwards, and send the bike into the sky by functioning as jet-powered air thrusters.
When in flight the bike generates more than 530lbs of thrust, pretty astounding for a bike that weighs in at less than 309lbs. Previous incarnations of the prototype have used a 470-horsepower Maserati engine and added jet turbines into each wheel. In recent demonstrations, the bike was proved functional, with a person on the bike whilst it was hovering above the ground.
With more than 100,000 visitors, GITEX Technology Week is the largest tech event in the Middle East. Dubai hosted the event over the week of October 6-10 and played host to 4,500 exhibitors from more than 140 countries. On show were some of the best and brightest advancements in tech from around the world, plus conferences, workshops, and presentations from companies of all sizes. We had a blast checking out the latest inventions and trends and we’re already watching flight prices for next year! You can check out our experience at the Smart Cities pavilion here, and follow us for more updates on the latest tech trends.