5G, artificial intelligence, cloud, cybersecurity, FinTech, blockchain, data analysis or even smart cities… The GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition) whose 2022 edition has just been held in Dubai offered a compendium of the most advances.
This event, now in its 42nd edition, is no longer a niche show, but the largest exhibition of its type in the world.
More than 4,500 exhibiting companies
“GITEX is the only place in the world where companies from all over the world flock to present their technologies, their innovations, their progress: it is today the largest exhibition dedicated to technologies on a global scale,” says Omar Al Olama, Minister of State in charge of artificial intelligence, the digital economy and the telework system. “It’s a testament to what the Emirates and Dubai are capable of doing when they act in a particular sector: we are betting a lot on technology and we see that companies around the world believe in it too,” he continues. “They come to unveil their innovations here to explore new markets, but also to try to find a place for themselves in the Emirates,” he said.
GITEX’s exhibition spaces span over 180,000 m² at the Dubai World Trade Centre. That’s the equivalent of 33 football fields. More than 4,500 companies were present this year. A quarter of them are new and competition is fierce to get noticed.
Among the innovations that caused a stir was a two-seater flying car model that was shown to the public, in flight for the first time. This futuristic Chinese prototype called Xpeng X2 is made of carbon fiber and can carry two passengers without emitting CO2. It was designed to fly at low altitude and move around town at a maximum speed of 130 km/h.
“First we started with mini helicopters, then we gained experience in development,” says Eng Liu Xinying, aerospace engineering scientist at XPENG AEROHT, “We reduced the weight of the whole design, we also took into account the different security requirements and mitigation measures in our system, we worked on this for eight years,” he points out before adding: “At this point, to bring the next generation to market, I think we still need two or three years.”
Taxi without driver
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has presented its driverless taxi for the first time. This Cruise Origin vehicle also has a bit of a way to go before it goes into service. But by the end of 2023, thousands of copies should appear on the streets of the emirate.
“We are going to test them in different areas of the city of Dubai, we are starting to do high definition mapping of certain areas, so the Jumeirah 1 promenade area is one of the first areas where these vehicles will be tested,” says Khaled Alawadhi, director of transport systems at the Transport and Roads Authority (RTA).
“This car is equipped with different technologies: it incorporates laser radar and a 360-degree camera that provides full visibility around the vehicle when it is moving through the streets,” he describes.
Humanoids and Metaverse
The company Engineered Arts, for its part, presented its latest model of a humanoid larger than life. It can be used in different applications, such as on construction sites.
GITEX invites you to project yourself into the future… And one of the ways to do this is to invest in the Metaverse, a trendy concept this year. Uli Stanke, MCH Global, experiential marketing agency, gives us his point of view. “As our brands and customers increasingly move towards more digital experiences like the Metaverse, we knew we needed a way to guide them through this process,” he specifies. “So we came up with Arcadia, an experiment in the Metaverse,” he continues, “which helps brands and marketers understand the power of this new medium.”
A dose of reality in videoconferences
Another innovation presented at GITEX 2022: a new video service called Room which allows you to make Zoom-type calls with a 3D video game touch. It runs on a regular browser and provides one-click access to meetings taking place in the Metaverse.
As the meeting organizer, you can choose a setting that suits the mood of the meeting, you invite your colleagues to join, and all the participants interact naturally using technology while picking up unwanted signals. verbal that we do not perceive during online meetings.
“Room is the closest way to real life to connect with people online,” describes Stefanie Palomino, General Manager and Product Manager of Room. “What we’re fighting is the weariness of video conferencing; there people are enjoying being in the digital space,” she points out.
GITEX welcomed a record number of visitors this year. What unites them is clearly their enthusiasm for technologies that want to offer us a better future.