HANNOVER, Germany — The keynote topic for CeBIT 2010 is "Connected Worlds," but if you have ever tried to schedule a flight to get to Hannover, Germany, from Austin, Texas, you could draw the conclusion that this theme is aspirational. But there are certainly lots of things in Hannover that are worth the trip, including this sculpture from a church in Hannover's Old Town (below), which indicates that saving one's soul in olden times was based more on fear than promises of heavenly bliss in the afterlife.
|Sculpture at Hannover's Old Town Church.|
This CeBIT journey is a continuation of my search for new style computing devices which started at Computex in June of 2009.
Much like the Computex search, Smartbooks are either only being shown in private quarters, or they have been replaced as a future computing solution by e-readers. Tablet computers, and even notebooks that turn into tablets were highly visible, but the focus of CeBIT, which runs March 2-6, is on hardware. No one was offering any discussion about the business model needed to propel these platforms into significant volumes.
What was unique and visible at CeBIT this year is a dramatic shift in the emphasis on "natural interfaces" as well as an emerging focus on high quality audio, including wireless alternatives that were unavailable in this venue on my last visit in 2008.
Some examples of "natural interfaces" included the following:
Projector plus sensor, turning the show floor into an interactive whiteboard (above). Focused toward the education market, but also positioned for use in business meetings, the example shown here required a standard projector attached to a PC as well as a sensor (custom camera) mounted on the projector, plus a special pen which is shown here being used in the role of a mouse.
The benefit is that you can scribble and draw and annotate, and all of this is captured in the application. Pages can be advanced and everything is stored along the way. In this instance, there was no appreciable latency, which is an issue that plagues many of the touch and multi-touch solutions that were demonstrated at this show.