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October 23, 2018

A Leap Into The Future

Emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles and building smarter cities could meet the demands of the swelling population which was one of the key focuses during Gitex.

A Leap Into The Future
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai

From October 14th to 18th, industry-leading entities and personalities gathered under one roof. In 1.3 million square feet of exhibition space across 21 halls at the Dubai World Trade Center, there were 750 startups this year in comparison to last year where the event witnessed 700 startups. 4000 exhibitors and over 200 governmental entities gathered under one roof to showcase and explore the latest technological advancements.

There was no surprise that this year’s theme for Gitex was artificial intelligence. The UAE has been at the forefront of utilising state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data and Analytics among other developing technologies. We saw major players such as Google, Amazon, Alibaba and LinkedIn come together to discuss the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence and how it is transforming decision making across different sectors.

Below is an overview of some of the most exciting technological advancements that were on display in Gitex Technology Week 2018.

City Brain Project

In its 38th edition, Gitex has welcomed Alibaba’s Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist Wanli Min to talk about Artificial Intelligence. He discussed his AI driven vision where the “City Brain” project is a cloud geared towards urban solutions to streamline traffic, detect accidents and improving transport efficiency. He claimed that this project was tested and it enabled to reduce and manage the traffic in Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Macau and Kuala Lumpur. It also reduced the travel time for commuters and reduced the congestion index for city life. Alibaba who has an estimated market value of more than $400 billion, claimed that the project has a relatively short implementation time and can prove to be less expensive for governments in comparison to other high-tech urban solutions.

Emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles and building smarter cities could meet the demands of the swelling population which was one of the key focuses during Gitex.

Etisalat and 5G

Visitors at Gitex Technology Week this year experienced 5G with a comparison between using 4G vs 5G was demonstrated to users. The future of mobility was also witnessed first hand where the World’s first flying car was present at the Etisalat stand. Etisalat will be the first major 5G commercial customer provider in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA). This is a major milestone for the UAE in support of its goal to be one of the most virtually and physically connected places on earth. The arrival of 5G will allow data transmissions to be faster and will be a game changer for the autonomous industry as well.

“Unmanned” Shopping Stores

Unmanned retail is a growing industry in China. They virtually have no employees and can in theory offer goods at much lower prices and allows the customers to skip the usual checkout process.  In order for the retail activity to be tracked, cutting-edge technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), facial recognition and image recognition are used. They are becoming a significant part of the offline retail industry in Asia. The creation is driven by Amazon in the U.S. and they announced a new grocery store concept that promised the customers a human-less shopping experience.

Smart Tunnel Immigration System

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) has demonstrated a technology called “Smart Tunnel”. This technology complements a biometric system allowing passengers to walk through without the need to present their identification documents (ID, passports or visas) to allow an individual to enter a certain country in less than ten seconds.

This year we saw a huge leap into the future in terms of utilising technology to improve the quality of life. From driverless taxis to government entities looking for ways to improve safety and ensure the fulfilment of a smart city, Gitex displayed technological advancements across different areas including healthcare, augmented reality, virtual reality, internet of things, autonomous technologies, cloud computing and real-time trades and verification. Amidst the ever-changing technological landscape people still ask themselves, “Will these technologies really improve our overall quality of life or will they be the number one cause of unemployment in the near future? ”

Kazim Hussain By Kazim Hussain

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