The most interesting week for tech enthusiasts is here, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 14-18, the 38th edition of Gitex Technology Week.
The UAE, particularly Dubai, has been at the forefront of utilising increasingly-popular technologies – artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data and data centres, among many others – gaining global recognition and putting it firmly in the lead within the region.
“The paradigm shift to digital is well underway in the UAE, with ICT transforming the country’s core components,” said Osman Sultan, CEO of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the Dubai telecom firm known as du.
All the figures in this year’s edition are expected to top last year’s gathering: over 100,000 visitors and more than 4,500 exhibitors are to fill up the 1.3 million sqft of exhibition space across 21 halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Even more enticing is the over 290 hours of seminars and conferences over the five-day-long event, which begins on October 14. One key aspect of Gitex is that it is a platform that allows companies and individuals – both from the public and private sectors – join hands to bring forward innovations that are set to change society.
Here are some interesting features from day 1 of the event, the Dubai Police showcased the second version of a hoverbike it unveiled last year with a new black design and also a mobile self-service Kiosk. The kiosk is accessible via Emirates ID or facial recognition and is fitted with a wireless recharging system, CCTV cameras, air conditioning, and an auto-drive system. It features smoke, motion and temperature sensors, solar panels, high-quality speakers, touch screens and a direct link with Dubai Police Command.
The Virgin Hyperloop One for high-speed cargo venture had its prototype displayed.
As usual, among the biggest participants at this year’s show are the Dubai Government entities. A total of 59 are participating this year with new technology offerings. These include Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), which displaying its billing and consumption services. Dubai Financial Market (DFM) is exhibiting the DFM Smart Service App, a blockchain-powered eVoting service and a chatbot and the Dubai Government Department of Civil Defence is showcasing an AI-enabled Auto CallDesk, while Dubai Statistics Centre is displaying a drone-powered Aerial Statistician and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority is demonstrating a range of smart services covering the smart economy.
Also, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) had made an announcement ahead of the show saying it would begin the city’s first automated taxi trial.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee – the inventor of the World Wide Web will discuss the “re-invention” of the Internet with ‘Inrupt’ – his latest venture that will let internet users keep control of their own data instead of handing it over to giant digital media companies. Sir Tim will be addressing a public audience for the first time since the launch of Inrupt last week and be the first in the world to hear his big plans “to upend the internet and end the global domination of Facebook, Google and Amazon”, according to industry sources.