Hanover, Germany is the annual location for the world’s largest digital IT fair, CeBit, with technology and gadgets from some 4,200 exhibitors – and for the first week in March the crowds were shown just how far technology can take us.
A shining white robot, known as RoboThespian, enacts film scenes (namely RoboCop – without the violence) and recites perfect Shakespeare – being all singing and dancing and able to speak at least 20 languages – he proved popular with the crowds.
Tobii Technology enticed the CeBit attendees with 20 prototype laptops, which the user can control with eye movement, no mouse required. Two cameras (mounted on the laptop) search for the ‘glint’ in the eye, and reflections from each retina. The computer scrolls down when needed, and apparently can mimic the eye-tracking systems of fighter pilots.
The Max Plank Institute also demanded the concentration of the attendees – but only the female ones, as this particular program is not yet available for men. A personal make-up artist is a luxury that this program could provide for many.
The program scans your face and suggests make-up combinations specifically for the user. Apparently, the program also has an opinion on make-up currently worn – an interesting concept, as a computer program is unlikely to beat around the bush. Once perfect make-up is established, how about a shopping trip?
The Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin has developed a gadget for the ‘pavement purchaser.’ Simply window shop by pointing to the item of choice on the interactive screen in the shop window, use a twist of the hand to rotate the image, and to purchase – via the checkout icon – the shopper simply places their smart phone against the glass.
A researcher at the Heinrich Hertz Institute said, “It’s secure, easy and of course 24/7.” And, germ free apparently, as the very public interactive system is not a touch screen.
These technological advances could feasibly reach the high street within the next two years. The speed and stretch of advancement in the IT world seems to suggest anything is possible. Though maybe RoboThespian should remain a party piece.