There are surprisingly few brand new products fighting for the public's attention at CeBIT in Hanover. Instead exhibitors are focusing on making the small smaller, the big bigger and the fast faster.
There were plenty of gadgets, but not too many new products at CeBIT
It would be fair to expect more than a handful of new, whiz-bang products in the 27 exhibition hall that look better suited to hold commercial airlines rather than electronics, but the 6,270 companies from 69 countries, up from 6,109 companies and 64 countries in 2004, at the annual CeBIT have something else on their minds.
Whether dealing with how we watch TV, listen to music, talk with our friends and family, exercise or get through airport security, exhibitors improved on the old instead of brining in the new to show the 500,000 visitors expected at the week-long event.
Faster, lighter, easier to use
DVDs ran over the world's largest LCD TV at Samsung's CeBIT 2005 booth
Televisions are larger and clearer. MP3 players store more songs and can fit in the smallest of pockets. Cell phones have shrunk in size and take higher quality pictures. Shoes auto-adjust cushioning and resistance while running, and facial scans no longer require you to stand still.
Mobile phones long stopped being just for talking and the trend continued at CeBIT. Now they can send pictures and videos along with playing and downloading MP3 audio files.
Whether it's actually a digital camera with a mobile phone or a mobile phone with a digital camera is an open question, but the Samsung SCH-V770 lets users talk and take seven megapixel digital pictures. Available in Asia by in June, the phone has neither a European nor North American release date nor even a price as of yet.
Bosch Security Systems scans CeBIT 2005 visitors' faces to show how their Facefinder package compares and recognizes facial features
A quick swipe of the ID card and the boss knows you're at work. Thanks to biometrics, a glance at a video camera will be enough for Bosch Security Systems' Facefinder to scan your face and determine your identity by comparing it to an established database.
"People do not have to do anything," said Stefan Steinert of Bosch Security Systems of the setup that has already found its way into some shopping malls and casinos. "Their faces can automatically be recognized."
Digital butler watches the house
Topbit's "Un-stupidest House in the World" its idea of the networked house of the future at CeBIT 2005.
Topbit Software also presented a program that keeps track of people's actions. In its scaled down model the "Un-stupidest House in the World" the living room computer controls actions all over the house.
With enough other devices and monitors installed throughout the house, the company's software can close windows when the weather dictates, lock doors, record TV shoes you may like based on the ones you watch and end the nightmare of "did I turn off the iron" by turning off its power outlet after a set amount of time.
Adidas presented a sneaker that will be of interest to next year's visitors when they're walking through the fair's nearly 309,000 square meters (730,800 square yards) of exhibits.
The Adidas-1 shoeis equipped with a microprocessor capable of making five million calculations per second to adjust heel cushioning
The Adidas-1, with its built in battery, processor and motor, adapts to different running styles and has buttons that let the wearer adjust the amount of cushion they'd like. They were introduced last year and will be available worldwide in April for $250 (€186).
Games light up high-definition displays
An exhibit hall dedicated to computer gaming broke up the sea of beige-toned electronic office devices.
Though a surprising number of LCD panels and computer monitor exhibitors still used solitaire as their default display of choice, it was fast-moving computer games most companies used to show off their high definition video equipment, offering plenty of chances to try out new releases on equipment well out of the average game player's price range.
The public will have until March 16 to try out all the cutting-edge of electronic gadgets free of charge -- after that they'll be available in stores around the world.