Enterprise Mobility: Tablets, Smartphones Abound at Annual CeBIT Technology Show
The Boss and the Robot
A remotely controlled robot greeted members of the media. Here, CeBIT Senior Vice President Frank Pörschmann pretends to converse with the robot as he welcomes the press to the Press Centre.
Star Wars Arrives
Deutsche Telekom shows that it's able to project a hologram of one of its executives from his location in Bonn to the company's exhibit in Hannover using LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology. A T-Mobile executive at the event confirmed that the company would be entering the U.S. LTE market in the near future. While the LTE technology appeared to be real, it wasn't clear that the hologram was, but the thing looked pretty cool in any event.
Smart Phone for your Desk
Alcatel-Lucent has brought the features of a smartphone to the desktop. The new and as yet unnamed device can transfer data and calls between itself and your smartphone. It can also store settings in the cloud so that multiple users can sign in and have their smart desk phone configurations show up on the device.
Fujitsu Enterprise-Ready Tablet Appears
A Fujitsu executive shows an eWEEK editor the new and previously unseen Fujitsu Stylistic Q550. This is an enterprise-focused tablet that runs Windows 7. It has up to 64GB of memory, a smartcard slot, a fingerprint reader and several loss-prevention features. It's slightly larger than an iPad, and can play music, video and Windows applications. Fujitsu is planning an application store for this device.
IBM's CeBIT display was huge, as is the case with many of the major displays at the show. Everything you see in the distance, as well as everything in the distance behind you from this perspectivetotaling about 2,500 square metersis part of this display. The Microsoft display in the same building was just as large.
Challenging IBMs Watson
IBM's Jeopardy-winning Watson was the star of the IBM display. You could actually play a round of "Jeopardy" against Watson to see if you could do better than a pair of Jeopardy champions, whom Watson easily defeated in a tournament on the long-running television game show. While many in Germany who'd never heard of Jeopardy were bemused, it was a popular display. An eWEEK editor played a game of Jeopardy against Watson and won, despite the editor's confusion about the origin of catsup.
Smile in 3D Please
LG was showing a mobile phone that would show 3D images without the requirement of special (annoying) glasses. The phone included a 3D camera. Also equipped with a 3D camera was an LG 10-inch tablet. An LG employee shows off the digital camera (note the two lenses on the back). The tablet, which runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, will record 3D photos and video, but you'll need special glasses to see the results. The tablet is also able to connect to your 3D-capable television.
Ford CEO Pitches the Cloud-Connected Car
Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally tells CeBIT attendees about the new cloud-connected Ford automobiles due in 2012. According to Mulally, new Ford vehicles will include a link to cloud services for traffic reporting, weather, and vehicle diagnosis and trouble reporting. The cars will also include an advanced version of Microsoft's entertainment systems similar to those in the U.S.
This Is your Tablet Calling
An ASUS representative demonstrates the new Eee Pad MeMO, which includes a touch-screen, stylus and a phone attachment. The phone attachment isn't actually a phone; it's simply an interface device that allows you to use the tablet as a phone. This tablet runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
The Digitizer Tablet
The ASUS Eee Slate EP121 includes a Wacom digitizer stylus and compatible screen. The screen also supports touch-screen operations, and it has a separate keyboard if you wish to use it. This tablet runs Windows 7, and is designed to run other Windows applications, as well. The tablet has a 12-inch screen and weighs about 2 pounds. It includes a camera and an SD card reader. It will support precision drawing, and it has an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port in case you get bored and want to watch movies instead of work.
The Transformers Are More Than a Movie
The ASUS Eee ePad Transformer is a 10-inch Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet that comes with an integrated keyboard and docking station. The tablet is fully functional on its own, but the docking station supports it by providing battery life as well as a directly connected keyboard.
Gateway Brings the Heavy Horsepower
Gateway, now part of Acer, showed its GR585 F1 server platform. This quad processor will support up to 12 cores and 512GB of RAM and six hot-swap Serial ATA or SAS drives. It includes dual-port Gigabit Ethernet functionality and supports MD SR5690 chipsets.
Acer Does Windows
Acer announced a 10-inch Windows 7-based tablet that will support Windows applications. This tablet will display 3D images, but the device requires those weird 3D glasses to see the effects. An eWEEK test showed that the 3D was unconvincing, but for a tablet, it's a start.
Android from Acer
Acer employees demonstrate Acer's soon to be released 8-inch Android Honeycomb tablet. It's an odd size, but the goal is to enhance mobility while still keeping the screen big enough to be useful. This tablet, about which details are still unavailable, is supposed to be released in late April.
Everybody Loves a Parade
Chinese parade characters dance to bring good luck to a meeting announcing a joint agreement between CeBIT and Taiwan-based Computex to develop trade shows in Asia. As much fun as the characters were, the author (and several other editors) were inexplicably kicked out of the press conference. Apparently we weren't cool enough for them.