From Dubai Police’s floating police station to Etisalat’s Lazareth Flying Motorcycle – electrifying highlights of 39th GITEX Technology Week and 4th GITEX Future Stars
More than 100,000 visitors to 39th edition of GITEX Technology Week and the 4th edition of GITEX Future Stars have been captivated after attending thought-provoking conference sessions and visiting world-class exhibitors. Once again, GITEX has been a launchpad for some of the world’s most successful tech companies and government agencies to bring ground-breaking new products and services to market such as Dubai Police’s floating police station, and Etisalat’s showcasing of the Lazareth Flying Motorcycle.
World's first floating Smart Police Station launched at GITEX
Earlier this week, His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, inaugurated the world's first floating Smart Police Station.
Free of any human intervention, the Station will be opened in the sea off of Dubai’s World Islands next year. It will help sea users and World Island residents enjoy key services, including the reporting of crimes, traffic incidents and community services.
Etisalat showcases 5G-powered future of mobility at GITEX
Etisalat showcased the Renault EZ-ULTIMO, a robo-vehicle equipped with level advanced autonomous driving capability. Powered by an all-electric drivetrain, it can connect to urban environments and highway infrastructure, and can drive itself without human input both in the city and on the highway.
Also taking off from Etisalat’s stand was the Lazareth Flying Motorcycle, a four-wheeled mechanical sculpture around a 5.2-litre V8 Maserati engine. The flying motorcycle can convert from ride-to-fly mode in approximately 60 seconds.
Another crowd puller at Etisalat’s stand was LIFT Aircraft’s Hexa drone-like aircraft that is controlled using a joystick in the cockpit and stabilised by a flight computer. It weighs around 200kg, seats one person and has 18 sets of propellers, motors and batteries. In the event of an emergency, flight controllers can take over the aircraft and fly it remotely like a drone. The aircraft can travel just more than 97 kp/h at top speed and includes air-cushioned floats, allowing it to land on water if necessary.
DEWA focuses on AI and disruptive technologies in utility sector
DEWA highlighted its latest smart services, customer services and innovative digital technologies in electricity and water at GITEX 2019 and demonstrated its key initiatives that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and disruptive technologies to enhance the experience of its customers, partners, employees, and other stakeholders.
H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said, “GITEX Technology Week is an important opportunity to highlight DEWA’s AI applications and its smart and innovative solutions. Through Digital DEWA, our digital arm, we are redefining the concept of a utility to create a new digital future for Dubai to support the Dubai 10X initiative, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to propel Dubai into the future, putting it 10 years ahead of other global cities through government innovation and disruptive technologies. DEWA will disrupt the entire business of public utilities by becoming the world’s first digital utility to use autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage.”
Smart Dubai collaborates with 48 government, semi-government and private sector entities in Dubai at GITEX
Under the theme ‘From Paper to Paperless,’ Smart Dubai’s pavilion showcased Dubai’s strategies, services and initiatives that expedite the shift towards a paperless government that will further establish Dubai as a world leader in the smart city sector.
Smart Dubai collaborated with 48 government, semi-government and private-sector entities in Dubai at GITEX Technology Week, with the various bodies taking part in the event under its umbrella and exhibiting ground-breaking smart government services.
Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Smart Dubai’s Director General, said, “GITEX Technology Week is almost four decades old now, and over the course of its journey, has successfully established itself as a world-leading annual technology event, while boosting Dubai and the UAE’s global reputation in the technology sector.
“Once again, we are collaborating with government entities and partners from Dubai to highlight the progress made on the ambitious Dubai Paperless Strategy 2021, which seeks to achieve 100% digital transition by the end of 2021, in line with the directives of our wise leadership,” H.E. Dr Aisha added.
RTA uses GITEX as platform to launch Free Wi-Fi Service on public buses
During GITEX Technology Week 2019, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) was teaming up with du to provide Free WiFi UAE on board public buses, marine transit modes and air-conditioned bus shelters.
An announcement to this effect was made on at GITEX Technology Week 2019 at Dubai World Trade Centre. The MoU was signed in the presence of Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, RTA; and Fahad Al-Hassawi, Deputy CEO Telecoms, du.
As part of the agreement, du is to provide Wi-Fi UAE services free of charge for riders of Dubai Bus, inter-city bus and Expo buses. The service will also be available at 23 bus stations, 40 water transit means, 18 marine transport stations, and several air-conditioned bus shelters. The service is set to be operational before the onset of Expo 2020.
“Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is key to success,” says 19-year-old property tycoon
Akshay Ruparelia, Founder and Managing Director at Doorstep.co.uk, might be only 19 years of age, but the young entrepreneur has certainly made a name for himself on the global startup scene as one of the youngest startup millionaires.
Speaking to the audience at the GITEX NXG Stage, the property tycoon, Ruparelia said: “No matter how old you are, it is important to embrace one’s life experiences. Any stage in your life will serve as a good lesson.” Ruparelia also reiterated that entrepreneurs, specifically founders from Gen-Z, should surround themselves with a strong support network and like-minded entrepreneurs to help rationalise their decisions and realise their business ambitions.
Iris Nova CEO Normandin shares vision of F&B’s digital future
Zak Normandin, award-winning entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Iris Nova, the parent company of NYC-based beverage brand DIRTY LEMON, provided marketing professionals at the GITEX DGTL Marketing Stage with insights on how to connect to a new wave of online F&B customers.
“If you look at what is happening in the food and beverage sector specifically, 73% of millennials will be buying 100 percent of their groceries online by 2023,” he said. “Soon, there will be a transformational shift in the way products are distributed to meet the needs of the consumers, especially at grocery stores.
“We wanted to connect with consumers directly, so we created a technology platform that allows consumers to order products directly. We are looking to expand that to other places across the US. The vision is that when you are on the last bottle, you should be able to pull out your phone, send a message to that brand and re-order the product immediately, without having to go to a website or log-in, enter your billing or shipping details.
“We just announced plans a month ago to invest $100 million over the next three to five years in emerging beverage brands. We are investing capital and both leveraging technology and data to be able to grow these brands.”
The Future of Health & Medicine: Where can technology take us?
At a session held during GITEX Technology Week 2019, Dr. Daniel Kraft, MD. Faculty Chair, Medicine & Neuroscience Singularity University, and Founder & Chair of Exponential Medicine, discussed the fusion that was now taking place between traditional healthcare practices and increasingly virtual, disruptive means of treatment.
“The future of medicine may not look like the traditional four walls of a hospital but will become increasingly virtualised and mobile, and AI and data-driven,” he said. “We have the opportunity to get out of the old ways of practicing medicine. We can catalyse many innovations to rethink and reimagine healthcare, get out of our silos, because medicine is very much traditionally based, and also get out of our silos of anatomy as we are now in a genomic, digital and connected age.
“Five billion people die every year, not from lack of medical care, but lack of good medical care. And now we are in an era where the internet and data are becoming ubiquitous. Information is power, where we can leverage these technologies to deliver care when and where it’s needed.”
Kraft pondered the ways that wearables, body computing, big data, virtual reality and artificial intelligence will give humanity the opportunity to rethink and imagine healthcare. “I urge all of you to not think about how technology is in 2019, but envision where it’s going to be in 2022, and even 2029,” he said. “Bill Gates said ‘we tend to overestimate what happens in a year, but underestimate what happens in the next decade’. Let’s all of us move together; to move from reactive sick care to proactive prevention in healthcare; to make it from one-size-fits-all to personalised; from siloed to intelligent and crowd-sourced. If we take this mindset to exponential power, and get it out of our linear mindset, it’s up to us to create the future together.”
GITEX has been a launchpad for some of the world’s most successful tech companies, telco’s and government agencies to bring ground-breaking new products and services to market.
GITEX Awards: Innovators in Education, Energy, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Digital Marketing, FinTech and many more categories receive the prestigious award
GITEX hosted the latest batch of its inaugural awards this week, with Noon Academy taking home the award in the telecommunications category for the ‘Best 5G Mobile App Innovation’. The ‘Best Regional Telecoms Project’ award went to Etisalat’s AI and Automation for Customer Experience Enhancement division.
Dr. Ahmed Bin Ali, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Etisalat Group, said: “This award entails a greater responsibility rather than an honour as it encourages us to continue our drive to expand the 5G services beyond the borders of the MENA region.”
Meanwhile, in the digital marketing category, awards went to Blink Studio for their AR Toyota Saudi Select Mobile App and to the Department of Islamic Affairs in Sharjah for their Smart Mosques Inspector.
Maria Intscher, Design Director, Vera Wang USA, a judge of the marketing category, said: “It’s my first time at GITEX, and I am amazed at the size of it and just how vibrant, colourful and wonderful it is. It is a lot more intense than I imagined it to be and it’s wonderful. I think it’s really important that GFS fosters young talent and new companies. I think that is really rare. I think it’s at a world level. I have been to shows at LA and NY and this absolutely stands in part with those.”
In the Fintech Awards, honoured for the ‘Best Use of Emerging or Innovative Technology’ and the ‘Best Digital Initiative’ were Etimad, a new online platform for government entities and private sector contractors by the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Liv., the digital lifestyle bank, which was launched by Emirates NBD, respectively.
Yasser Alshammari, General Director of Etimad, said: “I am extremely excited and happy to be receiving this award as I strongly believe that we deserve it. GITEX is one of the most influential events in the region, and we feel tremendous pride in winning an award at such a large-scale event.”
Jayesh Patel, Head of Liv. by Emirates NBD, said: “The recognition is great – it keeps us going to develop and bring new and innovative solution to the market. GITEX is the leading technology conference regionally, and it is an important event in everyone’s calendars. You witness innovations across different platforms, and it gives us the opportunity not just to see what’s new in financial services but also what the overall industry is doing.”
Two AI healthcare innovations bagged top honours at the GITEX Awards in the Best Partnership of the Year and the Best Overall Connected Healthcare Solution categories. Each category featured three shortlisted solutions, which were assessed by a panel of judges made up of healthcare experts, and were presented to the winners by Dr Joel Selanikio, Co-Founder and CEO of Magpi, a physician at Georgetown University.
The Best Healthcare Solution award was presented to Acapela Group for their ‘My-Own-Voice’ solution, a voice banking solution using Acapela’s text-to-speech (TTS) technology based on artificial intelligence. It is designed for people with speech disabilities, including patients with motor neurone disease, so that users who are about to lose the ability to speak can now recreate their voice synthetically.
Nawfal Tounsi, Senior Technical Sales Manager for Acapela Group, said, “We have participated at different exhibitions around the world, and have witnessed a growing appetite for exhibitions specifically for startups. It’s great to see a space such as this one, filled with startups, and this has attracted a lot of people.”
Ask Sophie AI by CloudMedX was named the Best Connected Healthcare Solution, which is CloudMedX’s solution to personalise healthcare delivery through data and AI. The application offers users a personalised health record combined with their self-provided AI symptom checker, which allows patients to securely store their data and query their symptoms to get personalised insights.
GITEX also recognised two startups that are making a significant impact on the education sector in two awards categories for their platforms that promote education across different verticals.
The Commitment Award was presented to Challenge Rocket for their Challengerocket.com platform, which hosts code competitions for students and IT professionals to practice their coding skills. Challenge Rocket helps teachers to enhance computer science classes while simultaneously helping students connect with prospective job employers and opportunities. Tomasz Florczak, Founder of Challengerocket.com, said: “It’s always a nice feeling when your work is appreciated, and this award is truly great recognition for us. We also see this as a great opportunity to move forward in the Middle East region and hopefully introduce our platform to more schools. GITEX is where the movers and shakers meet. We are happy to be here; we can get inspired; meet global companies and we can show off what we can do as well.”
The second award went to the Best Technology Infrastructure of the Year and was presented to Squirrel AI Learning by Yixue Group. Squirrel AI learning is the first ever AI-powered adaptive education provider in China. The company uses ‘adaptive learning’ techniques to provide personalised and quality after-school tutoring at an affordable price.
“Being at GITEX is important to us and it is exciting to learn about all the emerging technology that companies are championing. This will help us to understand the needs of students in an evolving marketplace as well. We are very happy to win this award,” said Junli Zhao, Director of Operations, Squirrel AI Learning, China.
Energy specialists also battled it out for recognition in the Future Energy Award and Energy Sustainability Champion categories. These awards were judged by an esteemed panel of experts: Dr. Feng An, Founder and Executive Director of ICET (China); Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy, Chief Data Scientist at Halliburton (USA); Robin Milla, CEO of Qamar Energy (UAE); and Dr. Christoph Nedopil Wang, Director of the Green Belt and Road Initiative at the Central University of Finance and Economics (China).
The Future Energy Award was awarded to i-FX Series by Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics and IT cooling systems. The company developed the new solution which doesn’t compromise on high energy efficiency. The award was presented by Adriana Karaboutis, Group Chief Information and Digital Officer at National Grid.
Engineering consultants, Griffin Consultants, were named Energy Sustainability Champion in recognition for their efforts to best improve energy efficiency through their Discovery Gardens – Energy Retrofit project. The trophy was presented by Dr. Feng An, Founder and Executive Director of ICET. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Omnia Halawani, Director at Griffin Consultants said, “Winning this award from GITEX, is interesting and such a pleasure.”