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Technology shows and the human factor

By Jean-Claude Elias - Oct 04,2018 - Last updated at Oct 04,2018

While more and more transactions today take place online, in the virtual world, silently, the need to meet with and talk to real human beings not only has not died, but even seems on the rise. Is it the effect of too much social media recently, of excessive automation and remote networking? Are consumers looking for a new, more balanced way to use networks and to interact with each other?

One tangible proof of this unexpected trend is the upcoming GITEX annual technology exhibition that will open on October 14 in Dubai and will last for five days. Most people were thinking that such giant events were doomed and that online browsing, playing, testing, viewing and buying would eventually kill shows, however great or popular they have been so far, from GITEX to CeBit in Germany and the mega CES in the USA.

Major tech shows are not only surviving rather well, but everything this year seems to indicate that they are benefiting from increasing booking and almost certainly increased attendance, which constitutes a radical change from the last five years or so.

Dubai’s Gitex is a world reference, and the biggest such exhibition in the entire Gulf and MENA region. This year, and in addition to the commanding presence of the two heavyweight sponsors, Hewlett-Packard and Intel, two long-time pillars of the industry, the strong, much publicised participation of Chinese Huawei is clear indication of the market penetration of the maker.

Huawei’s role as a strategic partner at GITEX 2018 is indeed a multiple indicator. It shows the importance of hardware devices and equipment (as opposed to networks, cloud, or the Internet), it puts forward the manufacturer’s range of impressive laptop computers, telling the population that Huawei is far from being limited to making smartphones, and it stresses the tough competition between the Chinese and South Korean market, mainly with Samsung.

Apart from Huawei’s strong presence, GITEX will also feature a wide array of virtual reality and augmented reality products, and the usual series of conferences, some presented by speakers from Amazon and Google. Linksys will present more smart home devices and systems, essentially based on WiFi, and featuring advanced yet easy to use remote surveillance cameras and home alarms — another significant IT trend.

Also very trendy, systems for easier and cheaper travel and hotel booking, will be presented. From the advertisements seen on almost all TV channels over the last few months, smart travel and hotel booking certainly constitute a significant trend and a big market segment.

An innovative system, definitely confirming and even underlying the above mentioned “human factor” will be “Be Your Eyes”, an original IT-based solution for the visually impaired visitors. It is presented at Gitex as “…the largest global online community for blind and visually impaired. It is currently used in more than 150 countries by more than 90,000 blind and visually impaired people…”

The resurging success of live tech shows perfectly illustrates what we all feel unconsciously. That one way of using technology does not necessarily exclude the others. It is all about common sense and balance. Meeting real people at computer shows and talking to them perfectly complements any only experience we may live by sitting alone behind our laptop and browsing the web.

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