The 45th ITB Berlin due to open in the German capital on March 9 will be dominated by two ongoing revolutions:
- The technological revolution which is transforming the way the industry does business; and
- The global geopolitical revolution which will see the emergence of a new world order.Both revolutions are fraught with dangers, challenges and opportunities for the travel & tourism industry.
In this first curtain-raiser for the ITB Berlin, Travel Impact Newswire begins with a focus on the technological revolution. Although the ITB Berlin will see numerous exhibits of technological products and services, the real innovations are on display this week at the CeBIT 2011 in Hannover. They are designed to provide "solutions" to everything from assessing the damage from natural disasters to helping shoppers "shop" even when the shops are closed.
The following list of new technologies to come have been compiled from the press releases posted on the CeBIT website. As a snapshot indicator of trends to come, the listing is intended purely as a valuable time-saving service for my readers. Travel Impact Newswire accepts no responsibility for the veracity of the claims made by the individual vendors.
A report on the second (geopolitical) revolution will appear on 3 March 2011.
With this dispatch, Travel Impact Newswire is proud to welcome its first sponsor, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and its spectacular website www.tourismthailand.org.
For readers planning a vacation, MICE event or anything from a meditation retreat to a golf holiday, pls click on the sidebar alongside to check out the fabulous range of Thai products and services, options and special deals.
ITB 2011 Curtain Raiser 1: The Technological RevolutionShop till you drop
There's nothing better than a bit of window shopping. After closing time, rather than just browsing window displays, customers can now also get information on the products and even make purchases "through" the window. This is possible thanks to the Interactive Shop Window. Developed by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin. Scientists will be demonstrating how passersby can select and buy products via a screen installed behind the shop window using only simple gestures. Four small cameras attached to the window use interactive gesture recognition to continuously record the positions of the potential customer's hands and eyes.Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz InstituteThieves don't stand a chance with the security agent for laptops
Laptops store a lot of sensitive data, such as contact details, holiday snaps, important correspondence and private e-mails. Many people are scared by the thought that their computer could fall into the wrong hands. Computrace Agent from the U.S. company Absolute Software significantly increases the chance that a stolen laptop will be recovered. Installed on the computer, Computrace Agent maintains daily contact with Absolute Software?s monitoring centers around the world. This close contact makes it possible to obtain specific details, such as the physical location of the stolen laptop and any activities that occur post-theft. Absolute Software works closely with local police agencies, providing them with the information they need to help recover the stolen property and catch the thief.Absolute Software / brainworksStaying in control with social media monitoring
An innovation originally intended for private communication is now an attractive option for companies, too. The vast majority of businesses now use social medial platforms such as Facebook, Xing, Twitter and YouTube for marketing purposes. The Dresden-based company Social Media Evolution (SME) is exhibiting its social media monitoring tool which enables businesses to keep a check on exactly when their company and products have been talked about on social networks, which platform has been used and how they have been rated.Social Media Evolution
Talk to your PC more - Voice operated controls make it happen
Afinion is taking the project management tool Microsoft Project to a whole new level with its latest offering - ProVokale. This low-cost software enhancement provides the world?s first voice-operated project management solution. ProVokale allows users to issue key commands to manage their project data using nothing but their own voice. Users simply say what they want to do instead of having to click their way through endless menus or type instructions on keyboards. This voice input option makes even complex commands far easier to issue. As a result, project managers will be able to look after their schedule quickly and efficiently.AfinionNetviewer shows how to hold the perfect web conference
Visual real-time communication is the latest must-have technology. Web conference solutions enable Internet users to share screen views. As a result, they are able to work on documents together without sitting next to each other at the computer. Web conferences save time and money because there is less need for staff to travel. This also helps the environment and raises productivity. Karlsruhe-based Netviewer AG is showcasing its web conference technologies. More than 18,000 businesses - including Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens and BMW - use Netviewer solutions. Lectures, examples and discussions will highlight the full range of cutting-edge web conference solutions.NetviewerState-of-the-art digital pen conquers the classroom
Interactive teaching technologies are still in short supply, but now students and teachers can benefit from BenQ's innovative PointDraw technology. The IT manufacturer is exhibiting the MP780ST, a projector that beams texts and images onto any surface. The really clever feature is the digital pen that enables teachers to make freehand additions to lesson notes and subsequently process this information.
Thanks to an integrated USB reader, it is even possible to give presentations without a computer. The BenQ MP780ST offers a flexible alternative to permanent whiteboards. The package includes a short-distance projector, a PointDraw pen and the requisite interactive software. The great thing about the pen is that teachers and lecturers can write on the projection surface or make changes to a PowerPoint presentation from a distance of up to eight meters. An integrated button on the pen works in the same way as the left mouse button.BenQSecurity for biometrically recorded data
Gait, body size, handprint, facial structure - there are any number of biometric characteristics that can be recorded. However, archived biometric reference data is incredibly sensitive - and can even be irrelevant to actual identification. This makes it all the more important to ensure biometric data is protected efficiently. The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) in Darmstadt will be exhibiting Template Protection, a process that protects biometric data by preventing users from making inferences about biometric information.Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD)The motivational personal trainer for your living room
Everyone knows how important it is to get enough exercise and keep fit. The ideal thing, of course, would be for personal trainers always to be on hand to ensure that exercises are geared to the user?s needs and are performed correctly. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) in Erlangen are presenting an electronic fitness trainer that, in addition to motivating users, also keeps a close eye on the exercises they perform. The Fitness Assistant takes the form of a sensor suit that records movements and transmits the results to a computer or smartphone where the data is analyzed.Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS)Practical, light and reliable: The new slate tablet PC from Fujitsu
Slate tablet PCs are very practical devices thanks to their compact and lightweight design. They fit easily in your pocket and even allow you to work for long periods standing up. Also, you can pop it in a docking station and expand your slate tablet PC with a keyboard, printer, mouse and disk drive. Fujitsu will be presenting a slate tablet PC primarily aimed at business customers. It has a touchscreen as well as a camera on the front and one on the back for scanning barcodes or holding video conferences. And there?s no need to worry about security because this device has an integrated fingerprint scanner too.FujitsuScavenger hunts in the 21st century
Scavenger hunts have long since arrived in the new millennium - in the form of geocaching. The University of Osnabr?ck will be presenting a position-based smartphone game. Students have developed this app for smartphones with the Android operating system and iPhones. The game uses all the technologies available with the latest smartphone generation, such as GPS, compass, position sensors, camera, Internet connection and the OpenGL graphic interface. What really sets this game apart is that player reactions in the real world can be combined with elements from the virtual world. For example, a treasure can be integrated into a real camera image.University of Osnabruck
Security for biometrically recorded data
Gait, body size, handprint, facial structure - there are any number of biometric characteristics that can be recorded. However, archived biometric reference data is incredibly sensitive - and can even be irrelevant to actual identification. This makes it all the more important to ensure biometric data is protected efficiently. During CeBIT 2011, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) in Darmstadt will be exhibiting Template Protection, a process that protects biometric data by preventing users from making inferences about biometric information.Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD)Mirror mirror on the wall...
Ladies confront no shortage of choice: To go with the red or pink lipstick, eye shadow with a pearl effect or just mascara and a little eyeliner? And which shade of powder or foundation best suits skin tone? Questions upon questions that show it is not always easy to find the make-up best suited to a particular type. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrucken will be on hand to help. They have developed a program that selects make-up to suit the photograph of a face and shows the results on screen. It uses a database of made-up faces to generate suggestions to bring out the best in eyes, lips and skin color. The computer is said to recommend make-up designed to complement different facial features because, as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...Max Planck Institut fur Informatik MPIIMy chip and I - new range of ID cards
The new electronic ID card stores data on a chip, which makes it Internet-compatible. This opens up new opportunities but also creates security risks. With this in mind, IT security specialist KOBIL is unveiling its new range of ID cards. KOBIL PA enables contact-free communication thanks to state-of-the-art chip card technologies. The electronic card and the new KOBIL products, which the company has developed in collaboration with its subsidiary FlexSecure GmbH, open up a whole host of applications including access control, time recording, eGovernment and patient admissions.kobilMy robot will be deputizing for me today
The new Jazz robot series from the French manufacturer Gostai will be on show. Europe?s No. 1 provider of service robots and AI solutions will be demonstrating what makes its mini robots stand out from the crowd. Standing just one meter tall, these mobile machines are equipped with a camera and connected to the Internet via WLAN, enabling them, for example, to stand in at a meeting for an employee who is off sick or to act as the eyes of a boss who is based in Paris but wants to inspect a construction site in New York. The secret behind these technical all-rounders is telepresence. With the ability to work at night, these robots are also a real asset to security teams. Prices for a Jazz robot start at 7,900 EURO.Gostai