CeBIT Shows How Big Data Is Being Put to Work Around the World

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-03-12 Print this article Print

Hannover, GERMANY—Data has taken on a new dimension in today's world of commerce. Virtually everything that uses electricity creates data, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. All the data that the Internet of things and other IT processes generate keeps growing by orders of magnitude to become ever more grist for the big data analytics mills. At the vast CeBIT trade show here, big data is put to work and put on display in ways you might never expect to see it. That data may appear as a room-filling visualization, or as characters on the display of the computer that controls a massive crop harvester. As you walk among the exhibits illustrating the flow of data or applying data analysis, it seems that every aspect of life is one way or another weighed, measured, calculated and compiled by devices that try to give it all some practical answer or value. Data is everywhere at CeBIT, and one way or another, it becomes part of something that we can visualize. This eWEEK slide show illustrates just a few of the ways all that data is being gathered and put to work. Photos by Wayne Rash/eWEEK.

  • CeBIT Shows How Big Data Is Being Put to Work Around the World

    by Wayne Rash
    1 - CeBIT Shows How Big Data Is Being Put to Work Around the World
  • Future of Travel According to Deutsche Telekom and Airbus

    Deutsche Telekom, the company that owns most of T-Mobile in the U.S., sees travel in terms of the data that represents the process of moving people and things from point A to point B. Working with Airbus and others, DT has developed prototypes of products that one day should make travel easier by ensuring that your data keeps up with you wherever you go so you don't have to waste time keeping track of it yourself. Welcome aboard the DT flight to the future.
    2 - Future of Travel According to Deutsche Telekom and Airbus
  • Following Your Bags from Columbus to Orlando

    The display of an electronic luggage tag is just scratching the surface of the digital luggage that Deutsche Telekom is developing. The electronics module contains a GPS, a cellular radio, sensors to tell when the bag is being opened, how much it weighs and where it is. If someone other than a Transportation Security Administration inspector tries to open the bag, it sends an alert to the owner's smartphone. It also displays the weight when you're checking it. You can find it when it gets lost. But will it remember that you forgot to pack your socks?
    3 - Following Your Bags from Columbus to Orlando
  • The Internet of Very Big Things

    This huge combine harvester from Claas is in constant communications with its farm management system; it talks to the trucks that unload its grain while it works and to the tractors that service it. This combine sets its course using GPS, it reports on crop yield as it harvests, and it reports on soil conditions. The data from this harvester along with data from others like it can be analyzed to produce a detailed picture of overall production and yield for an entire farm or community. Meanwhile, the driver is no longer burdened with the task of running everything and can focus on making sure the harvester doesn't hit anything or pick up rocks or other foreign objects.
    4 - The Internet of Very Big Things
  • Secure Calling Comes to Android

    SecuSmart Managing Director Hans-Christoph Quelle displays an Android smartphone that has SecuSmart's new secure calling software installed. Formerly, the company's security products were limited to those running BlackBerry 10. Now, SecuSmart, the company that primarily secured phones for national governments, secures the enterprise. According to Quelle, most smartphones have adequate ability to secure data, but they can't secure voice communications. With the Android version of SecuSmart, voice communications are now secure, and they are reputed to be secure from National Security Agency snooping.
    5 - Secure Calling Comes to Android
  • Volkswagen Shows Off Audi Connected-Car Mockup

    The photo shows a mockup of an Audi self-driving car designed to navigate on its own for a limited time while the driver deals with heavy traffic or poor visibility. You can set the time during which the car will drive itself so that the driver can cope with problems like rush-hour traffic. The car gives advance warning of its intentions so that the occupants can do things like grab their coffee before the car changes lanes.
    6 - Volkswagen Shows Off Audi Connected-Car Mockup
  • It Takes a Psychologist to Design a Car

    Dr. Linn Hackenberg shows off the car control system that her team designed for autonomous use on the highway. Dr. Hackenberg is the lead developer for Volkswagen, and it is she who thought up the important features such as having the interior of the car transform itself when it goes from being manually operated to being operated autonomously. According to Dr. Hackenberg, the transformation lets the driver know that the car is changing, and when it's changing back. The car can also tell the driver in advance when it's about to take actions such as swerving in advance. Dr. Hackenberg said that this transformation means that the driver is never out of the loop.
    7 - It Takes a Psychologist to Design a Car
  • The Ghostly Hand of Automation

    Volkswagen has developed a gesture-based control system reminiscent of the gestures that can control some phones. The VW system uses a camera located in the console behind the shifter, and your hand's position is echoed in blue on the screen in front of the driver. Here it's controlling the audio system, but it can also control most other systems in the car, including navigation.
    8 - The Ghostly Hand of Automation
  • The Satellite Version of IoT

    Inmarsat is one of the early pioneers of machine-to-machine communications. The company's satellite radios have long provided communications for everything from pipelines to oilfields to railroads. Now the company has developed a device to bring satellite communications to cellular devices, including smartphones. With it, your smartphone can communicate using Inmarsat's satellite constellation. We weren't allowed to take photos of the actual device, but it's about the size of a hardback book and looks just like the one in the poster.
    9 - The Satellite Version of IoT
  • Connecting Your Lightly-Used Car

    Vemoco says that you don't have to buy a new car to have a connected car. The company makes a device that connects to your car's data port—virtually every car has one—and uses the information that the car already has to help you keep in touch for maintenance, lets you see where the car is, how it's being driven and whether it's going where you want. The device contains its own GPS so it can tell you where it is at any given time.
    10 - Connecting Your Lightly-Used Car
  • One Device Generating Data on the IoT

    Sensorberg uses Apple's iBeacon technology to produce devices that communicate with low-power Bluetooth to send messages. The iBeacons are about the size of a poker chip. They can be used to send messages to apps on your iOS or Android device. At CeBIT, they're sending out critical messages such as "free coffee."
    11 - One Device Generating Data on the IoT
  • Big Data Visualization Covers One End of Cavernous Exhibit Hall.

    This image of live data gathered from the Internet is depicted in a way that fills one end of a huge (5,000-square-meter) building at CeBIT. The image was so large we couldn't get it all in a single photo. The image curves around the entire end of the building.
    12 - Big Data Visualization Covers One End of Cavernous Exhibit Hall.
  • Display Illustrates Word Frequency From Amazon Book Scans

    This is a big data depiction of the frequency of occurrence of every word in every book scanned by Amazon. The words themselves are shown at the bottom of the image. This image stretches out hundreds of feet beyond what we could see with the camera. This is big data, no matter how you look at it.
    13 - Display Illustrates Word Frequency From Amazon Book Scans

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