The best of CeBIT: From driverless pods to floating customer service heads
We scoured Asia Pacific's largest tech event to show you the coolest new innovations.
CeBIT, Asia Pacific's largest and longest running technology event, is being held in Sydney this week and showcasing some seriously cool products.
finder.com.au were there to find out about the latest innovations, which included driverless car pods, 3D printers, huge government drones and VR driving systems. Plus, a disembodied customer service team to you help you navigate it all.
Here are some of the coolest things we saw at CeBIT 2017.
Here we played virtual basketball but learned it was a bit more high tech than that. Displayground is a large-scale responsive content platform for any consumer-facing environment such as retail, museums or even real estate. After we played ball we got to rotate an apartment plan on the screen.
These robots were not only adorable but they were also talented – they are playing soccer in the background. Using machine learning, UNSW undergraduates were able to win one of these robot soccer tournaments by adopting inventive strategies such as turning slightly differently to their competitors or moving a bit faster. However, the robot pictured above is unfortunately retired.
This was one of the most popular exhibits from what we could see. The Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI), which is the peak body servicing automated vehicle activity in both countries, was showing off its interactive pod. This will be able to transport passengers "from point A to point B" without them needing to drive the vehicle. As you can see, the whole experience looks like it would be pretty relaxing.
This was, by far, our favourite feature of the conference. It also was the thing that took the most getting used to. These customer service screens, provided by a startup called Worker Clicks, could be found at various points around the conference and either had a person's face already on the screen or a touch point that you could activate to get assistance.
We worked out that if there is a person on the screen they have a pretty good vision of what's going on and greet you. "Hi girls in blue!" a few of them said to us. This was the part that took some getting used to – you just don't expect a person on a screen to greet you personally.
Western Sydney University VR driving
PhD students at Western Sydney University developed this amazing VR experience. Put on the VR headset and you immediately step into a vehicle. The experience of sitting in the driver's seat with a physical steering wheel, pedals and visual neighbourhood is very strange.