Gitex Technology Week’s annual exhibition brings with it the organisations at the cutting edge of future tech.
If you happened to watch Blade Runner 2049 this week before attending Gitex’s annual Technology Week show, you would be forgiven for thinking you over-slept by 32 years.
The robots in the exhibition are starting to look less like the hot-wired industrial microwaves of yester year and more like the chiseled future overlords our science fiction movies keep promising us they will become.
We visited the various stands and exhibits and asked all the pertinent questions that you need to know the answers to.
These are our top five things that made us say ‘hmmmm:’
‘That autonomous air taxi’
It’s not the first time we’ve heard about it, it’s not the first time we’ve seen it – His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum witnessed its inaugural flight recently. But it was the public’s first opportunity to get up close and personal. We can assure you it looks pretty solid, and thankfully it comes with a whole sack of go-go gadget safety features.
It does also bear a passing resemblance to this vehicle from the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Likelihood of it rising up and enslaving the human race: 1/5, it would have to do it two people at a time and we like to think as a species we’re smart enough to figure out what’s going on before it was too late.
The VR rollercoaster
When is a rollercoaster not a rollercoaster, but also, still sort of a rollercoaster? When it’s VR and experienced through an incredible Samsung Gear gyroscopic platform. It eliminates at the need for miles of expensive track, and provides a pretty authentic thrill-ride experience. Minus being hassled by theme-park characters in giant outfits. Maybe they’ll work that in v2.0.
Virtual reality features heavily, along with a whole load of other pop culture references, in the soon to be released Steven Spielberg epic: Ready Player One.
Likelihood of replacing theme parks in the future: 3/5, VR is one of those tech fields that just seems to be growing exponentially at the moment, it’s limitations are virtually existent.
The Dubai police hover bike
Dubai Police had some pretty cool tech on display at Gitex. Which is unsurprising given their commitment to pioneering innovative smart technologies. There was the mobile speed radar, new face recognition tools, our dear old friend the robocop, a glove that translates sign language, and new VR training software. But all of this plays the supporting cast to the headline stealing hover-bike – a mesmerising sight even when it’s not hurtling along at high speed five meters above the ground. We’ve already bought our popcorn for Gitex 2018. Come on Robocop riding hover-bikes.
Likelihood of looking cool whilst riding it: 6/5, it’s a bike, that hovers. The only way it could be cooler as if the uniform for the pilot was some sort of biker leathers / police hybrid. Oh that’s right, IT IS.
Text message: Thank you for booking your taxi with the RTA, your driver’s name is Mercedes F 015. It’s the car, the car will be your driver.
It’s not actually in production yet, but this vehicle that looks eerily similar to the autonomous Audis in I, Robot could be on our roads sooner than you might think. The panel of experts across a range of specialties at Mercedes-Benz have been working tirelessly to get a working fully self-driving prototype ready for testing as part of the ‘City of the Future 2030+’ vision.
Personally we’ll miss the small talk with taxi drivers, but the cabin does have space for three friends, which is an extremely good excuse for a bit of carpool karaoke on your morning commute.
Likelihood of having to make sure you have the correct cash amount for a journey: 1/5, there probably won’t even be such a thing as physical cash in the future.
Virtual Aquarium with facial recognition tech
This new virtual walkway could potentially do away with the need for e-gates and customs counters for people departing through DX. The tunnel, which displays a virtual aquarium or a range of other high-definition pre-programmed displays, also contains in excess of 80 cameras that are linked to a facial recognition system.
Any individuals posing a security risk can be immediately identified and the authorities can intervene. Imagine how much shorter the Jason Bourne movies would be if airports had this facility in place already. The first phase of installation will take place in Dubai International’s terminal 3 at some time in 2018.
In the 2002 Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, facial recognition was similarly used for security scanning, but also to target adverts to individual preferences. In a stunning case of life imitating art, this virtual aquarium can also be programmed to show adverts.
Likelihood of bumping in to Tom Cruise in a virtual aquarium at T3: 2/5, OK he’s a Hollywood A-lister but he does love a bit of Dubai