CeBIT 2007, 15 to 21 March - Hot Topics

15.03.2007: CeBIT 2007, 15 to 21 March - Hot Topics

Virtual wine tips and a kitchen that cooks

Visitors to CeBIT 2007 will discover just how integral a part of our daily lives artificial intelligence could become by taking a look at the exhibits of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).

For example, what appears to be just an ordinary wine rack at first glance turns out to be a true connoisseur. Remove a bottle and detailed information on the wine's origin and taste appears on the rack's monitor. The "virtual sommelier" also gives the current temperature of the wine, indicates whether it needs chilling and recommends decanting if a bottle of red wine has been shaken about.

These virtual wine tips are made possible by an RFID chip and a number of sensors located on the wine bottles that transmit the information they contain to the system hidden in the rack.

The assistance offered by intelligent systems in the kitchen could be just as impressive in future. When eggs are removed from a refrigerator, for example, their best before date can be indicated on a display thanks to RFID chips and various sensors. There is also help with actual cooking. Electronic kitchen appliances deduce the dish to be prepared from the ingredients put out and automatically start the relevant recipe video.

DFKI experts will be demonstrating how this virtual assistance works in practice by preparing a wine syllabub at the stand.

DFKI Deutsches Forschungszentrum für künstliche Intelligenz GmbH
Internet: www.dfki.de
Hall 9, Stand B40 (partner of: German Federal Ministry of Education) 

 

Prada chic with a touch of luxury

Wonderfully elegant and technically innovative into the bargain - that's the brand-new Prada cell phone being showcased by exhibitor O2 at CeBIT 2007. This designer cell phone (weighing just 85 grams) only needs a small number of keys because it is controlled using the extra-large contact-sensitive display. Illuminating icons make operating the phone child's play. If the KE 850 is not in use, these icons disappear and the cell phone returns to an elegant black, simply oozing Prada chic.

At just twelve millimeters thick, the KE 850 is impressively slim too, despite the many additional multimedia applications such as MP3 and video player plus radio, 2-megapixel camera and e-mail client.

O2 Germany
Internet: www.o2.com
Hall 26, Stand C32 

 

World premiere - the lightest UMPC ever weighs in at just 759 grams

It's a familiar problem. The working week ends with a business meeting, all the information for which is on a heavy laptop. Then you have all your baggage to cope with too as you board a train and head away for the weekend. Now the good news - soon no-one will need to be lumbered with a cumbersome laptop.

Weighing in at just 759 grams, the Samsung Q1b Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) is the lightest UMPC in the world according to its manufacturer. The second generation of this handy power package being unveiled at CeBIT 2007 offers a 7-inch display with significantly improved brightness and contrast that is still clearly visible even when the sun is shining on it.

Samsung Electronics GmbH
Internet: www.samsung.de
Hall 1, Stand B41 

 

Encrypt all your notebook data

The purpose of DigiSafe and DiskCrypt, both of which are being exhibited at CeBIT 2007, is to protect notebook computers against unauthorized access and data theft. DiskCrypt, a USB hard disk with encrypting module, automatically encrypts all the data on the notebook's hard drive. New data is also encoded in real time as it is being entered.

In addition to backing up data on the hard drive, DigiSafe also protects the notebook against unauthorized access. If the mobile computer is rebooted, the system requests a USB stick with code key and password before starting the operating system. Only if both are correct does the computer start.

ST Electronics (Info-Security) Pte Ltd
Internet: www.digisafe.com
Hall 2, Stand C08, Singapore national pavilion 

 

iPod keypad on a t-shirt

Skin-tight clothes and no bag so what do you do with your iPod? The answer is grooveRider, a trendy t-shirt with a pocket for your iPod and integral keypad. There's no need to fumble around for the right key or grope about in your pocket.

Thanks to sensors incorporated in the material, the generously dimensioned iPod keypad on the left-hand side of the t-shirt at chest height is operated simply by lightly touching the t-shirt surface. According to manufacturer Urban Tool, this t-shirt - on show at CeBIT 2007 in Hannover - is the first on the market to use a textile interface to control electronic functions.

The portable technology is machine washable at 30°C (86°F) - but please remove your iPod first.

Urban Tool Design und Handels GmbH Vienna
Internet: www.urbantool.com
Hall 25, Stand D34 

 

Share the thrill experienced by a ski jumper

Following a successful take-off, trees and hundreds of spectators flash past beneath the ski jumper. Now anyone can see exactly what he/she sees while sitting in the comfort of their own home and enjoying a crystal-clear TV picture. It is thanks in part to the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) that live images such as these can be transmitted straight into our living rooms. At CeBIT 2007, the Institute will be exhibiting a mini-camera which, at just four centimeters by eight, is smaller than a bar of soap and thus small enough to fit into a cramped racing car cockpit or onto a ski jumper's helmet.

With its extremely high resolution, the MicroHDTV camera has gone one step further to achieve high-definition TV (HDTV) quality. This mini-camera is able to produce 60 images per second, images which can also be received by a notebook or PC using local networks.

Fraunhofer Institut für Mikroelektronische Schaltungen
Internet: www.iis.fraunhofer.de
Hall 9, Stand B36 

 

Luxury notebook with piano lacquer and cowhide

The ultra-light U1F notebook from Asus being exhibited at CeBIT 2007 weighs just one kilo - a real treat for high-tech aficionados. The notebook lid is covered with black piano lacquer and the hand rest with cowhide. The stainless steel edges on this luxury notebook computer for electronics buffs with a sense of aesthetics provide the finishing touch. The notebook runs under Windows Vista as standard.

ASUS Computer GmbH
Internet: www.asus.de
Hall 2, Stand A12

 

Getting in touch with your feminine side

How would I look as a woman? Anyone curious to find out should head for the stand of the computer graphics experts from the Max Planck Institut für Informatik (MPII) at CeBIT 2007.

In order to be able to change a man's face to make him look like his twin sister, the IT experts have recorded around 200 faces in a database as 3D models. Calculation methods (algorithms) have also been developed to establish the traits that give a face a feminine appearance. Points in the 3D model are recorded and moved about along various axes. The image generated is then combined with the faces in the database to create a woman's face very similar to that of the man and to do so as realistically as possible.

Based on the same process, the researchers can show thin people what they would look like if they gained weight too. This new method also allows emotions to be created in faces. For example, the Mona Lisa can be made not only to smile but even to laugh.

Max Planck Institut für Informatik (MPII)
Internet: www.mpi-inf.mpg.de
Hall 9, Stand B40 (partner at German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) 

 

A friendly voice instead of tedious operating instructions

Although technology is becoming ever more complex, companies are trying to make life as simple as possible for their customers. One example is the Easy Box from phone provider Arcor - on show at CeBIT 2007. The box automatically creates a wired or wireless connection between four devices - computer, laptop, IPTV set-top box and dual-mode phone. The whole system is voice-controlled - gone is the hefty, unintelligible manual.

The first thing the user does is plug the phone cable into the box, which is smaller than a shoe box, and a friendly voice on the phone tells him what to do next - "Now plug in the DSL cable." No problem given that there's only one possibility. This makes voice-controlled TV and Internet configuration easy and reliable, and there are interfaces for all the various devices. If all that is still not enough, it's also possible to block certain call numbers and manage settings via the web interface.

Arcor AG & Co. KG
Internet: www.arcor.de
Pavilion P32, Stand A01 

 

Second-hand software

Visitors to the usedSoft GmbH stand at CeBIT 2007 will find not the latest developments but used items - something of an anomaly in the turbulent high-tech world of CeBIT. The company offers private firms and public authorities the opportunity to buy second-hand software. According to the service provider, savings of up to 50% can be made compared to the price when new.

The fact that the programs on offer are used doesn't necessarily mean that the software has been around for a while. The Munich-based company also offers the very latest versions, obtaining used licenses as a result of insolvencies, closures or restructuring measures.

usedSoft welcomes both buyers and sellers. The latter can convert tied-up capital into liquid assets by selling licenses that are surplus to requirements. (gitte)

HHS usedSoft GmbH
nternet: www.usedsoft.com
Hall 4, Stand F46

 

- Deutsche Messe, Hannover -

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15.03.2007 / MaP

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