The 35th edition of the Gitex Technology Week, which is taking place from October 18 to 22 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, was opened by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.
The five-day event is expected to draw more than 140,000 visitors from over 140 countries. More than 3,600 companies from over 62 countries have signed up for the event.
This year’s theme is ‘The Internet Future of Everything”, revolving around the pillars of innovation, connected cloud, big data, mobility and security, along with the return of the Google CSI Lab.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai toured the government hall at Gitex on day 2. He was accompanied by Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai. A walk around the halls of Gitex would reveal not just high-tech gadgets, but also state-of-the art vehicles acquired by various government agencies in Dubai.
Some of the highlights of the Gitex Technology Week were:
- The Dubai Internet City where two virtual reality kits were set up, one being a virtual reality racing game and also a foosball table.
- NetApp, the American computer storage and data management company, has set up a Formula 1 racing game where visitors could challenge each other.
- In other news, commuters will soon be able to have smart watches to replace Nol cards as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is planning to introduce a series of NFC-enabled wrist watches that will help pay the public transport fares in Dubai, Gulf News can confirm. On display at the 35th Gitex Technology Week, the wrist watches are currently being studied as one of the means of fare payment, just like the NFC-enabled smart phones.
- UAE consumers, businesses, merchants, banks, forex exchanges and even government service providers will be handling far less cash by 2020, according to the digital payments service company, Trriple. The company is set to satisfy demand for a wide range of payment services, from mobile wallets and mobile point-of-sale to electronic payments and global money transfers. “We are poised to usher in the ‘cashless society’ here in the UAE,” says Ahmed Fasih Akhtar, Trriple co-founder.
- The UAE Telecommunication Regulatory Authority is aiming to boost the competitiveness of the telcom operators and stimulate the mobile experience of the consumers as part of the Smart City initiative. Saif Bin Ghleita, director of technology development affairs at TRA, said that ‘Coverage’ is a smart and innovative system developed by the TRA for field scanning, testing and analysing the performance of operators’ networks. “We have tailor-made cars equipped with certain tools for monitoring and analysing the mobile networks that are available whenever needed. We monitor the social networking platforms and when we hear a complaint about an issue, we monitor the network issue and inform the concerned telco operators to rectify the issue. The issue can be electronically seen on our control room in Dubai immediately,” he said.
- The Ministry of Finance, MoF, announced the launch of the eD-Mobile/Wallet smart phone applications which will enable eDirham customers to use auxiliary and stored value amounts for making payment transactions, without having to physically produce a card.
- eD-Mobile/Wallet applications, which support the UAE’s national plan towards an electronic and smart government, enables users to make secure, easy, fast and convenient electronic payments for services via the internet and mobile phones.
- Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Under-Secretary for Resources and Budget Sector at MoF, said, “Mobile payments are experiencing a fast-paced growth nowadays, and our launch today of eD-Mobile/Wallet applications is another milestone in the continuous rally to keep up with the latest technologies, in order to provide eDirham system users with a variety of feasible and convenient channels.”
- Among the companies slated to unveil their latest innovations at Gitex, Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has launched its Interactive Mirror. Using built-in high definition cameras, the virtual mirror is enabled with face analyzing feature to point out every flaw, such as age spots or fine lines, and suggestions on how to fix them. Dubbed as the new professional health and beauty advisor, the interactive mirror has an oval "augmented-reality portal" that activates with a press of a button on the remote. This product can be easily used by all ages, with only minimal instruction.