Gitex Global 2021 Dubai Round-Up

Gitex Global 2021

One of the biggest tech events in the world, Gitex Global 2021, which brought together global industry leaders, startups and innovators in artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud, cybersecurity, blockchain to unveil the future, came to an end on Friday.

In true form, the week-long event has delivered when it comes to the latest innovations in technology. We have been covering the latest announcements from the companies that  showcased through the week. Here’s a round-up of the top news.

Mind-controlled Avatar-inspired car unveiled

A concept car inspired by the blockbuster movie Avatar was a real crowd puller at this year’s Gitex. The Mercedes-Benz Vision Avtr comes with a Brain-Computer-Interface device that the driver wears when inside the vehicle. It took two years to design. With no visible steering wheel, it’s a fully operational, mind-controlled car. Much of the interiors have been designed using plastic pollution fished out from the ocean, including the backs of the seats and the centre console. Other sustainable materials have also been used inside the car, including vegan Dinamica leather made from recycled materials and liana for the floor, which is a long-stemmed, woody vine.

Delivery robots ready to drop at your door

A range of autonomous robots was shown off by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The RTA had challenged universities and international businesses to develop machines capable of operating in Dubai. The Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport 2021 competition attracted entries from companies including China, Russia, Italy, France, Austria and the US.

Packed with safety sensors and security features, motorised vending machines and driverless delivery vehicles were demonstrated at the event to show how they could soon be dropping off deliveries at your door. Groceries, fast food and online shopping were all presented as viable options to put the automated transport to use and help cut emissions in the city for last-mile deliveries. UK autonomous vehicle manufacturer StreetDrone expects to have the robots deployed by 2023.

Underwater drone to catch drug smugglers

An underwater drone used to foil drug smugglers attempting to bring contraband into the UAE was shown at the event. The Syaj mini-submarine, a remote-controlled drone for underwater surveillance, has been used by Dubai Customs since August 2020.

The drone can travel at 15 kilometres per hour and has a range of about 30 metres from the controller. Fitted with a 4K high-definition camera, it takes live video and clear photographs to enable investigators to complete a more thorough inspection of vessels arriving in the dock. The drone is used in the war on drugs at Jebel Ali Port, which can handle 22 million freight containers a day.

Enterprise grade GPT AI-powered language model launched

SambaNova Systems, known for its advanced software, hardware and services to run AI applications, announced its Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) language model.

It is included in SambaNova’s Dataflow-as-a-Service for language, increasing the capability of its Natural Language Processing (NLP) model with speed and accuracy, providing an opportunity for enterprises to jump-start AI language applications.

“Enterprises are insistent about exploring AI usage for text and language purposes, but up until now, it hasn’t been accessible or easy to deploy at scale,” said Rodrigo Liang, CEO and co-founder of SambaNova. “By offering GPT models as a subscription service, we are simplifying the process and broadening access to the industry’s most advanced language models in a fraction of the time. We are arming businesses to compete with the early adopters of AI.”

The language model uses deep learning to produce human-like text leveraging large amounts of data and is the first enterprise-grade large AI language model and services offering on the market.

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Accelerating startup growth on the cloud

Hub71 announced its collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support tech startups to build scalable and secure cloud-based services that accelerate their growth. The collaboration offers Hub71 startups access to AWS Activate, a program that provides tools and resources to help startups innovate and scale faster. Through AWS, startups can experiment frequently and optimise business performance while reducing technology costs. Hub71 startups will benefit from AWS Activate credits worth up to $100,000 for each, in addition to AWS Support credits.

Power of video analytics

Datumcon, an artificial intelligence (AI) and data science company based in UAE and Saudi Arabia, highlighted the benefits of AI-enabled video analytics. Its INSIGHT AI — the intelligent AI-enabled video analytics solution — detects and extracts objects and features from real-time and recorded video streams and images to enable swift decision making. Beyond substantially improving levels of security, the software’s capabilities stand out when it comes to automation of supervision and surveillance tasks. Its Brain-wave Reader is a bandwidth brain-machine interface capable of reading a person’s brainwaves and transforming them into visual representations.

Sin City Metaverse unveiled

The Sin City Metaverse project was launched at the event. This project promises to create an immersive 3D open world, play-to-earn GTA styled multiplayer game deployed on the blockchain through the polygon network, which will also be the first rated-R game on the blockchain. It’s been a while since a project of this magnitude has launched.

Real-time engagement platform

The pandemic has forced business events and entertainment events of the Middle East region to turn virtual or hybrid, and business leaders have to address significant new challenges — how to maximise the engagement and the energy of an online audience in an era where online fatigue has never been that important?

Sparkup, a French startup specialising in real-time engagement solutions, introduced its latest innovations — a virtual audience solution to help maintain an authentic sense of cohesion, interactivity and spontaneity.

Speakers on stage can see every online participant as if they were sitting there in the room thanks to a giant video-mosaic of all attendees. It is possible to display up to 100,000 attendees simultaneously on any size of the screen. A simple webcam is necessary for attendees to be part of the virtual audience and watch the event. They can also share their emotions in real-time and react through live polls, word clouds, live quizzes or interactive Q&A.

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Crypto sector requires “ethical” growth

The transformative potential of blockchain technologies and fintech was in the spotlight at Gitex Global. Dr Farzam Kamalabadi, president of the Future Trends Group and Executive Chairman of Hyper Optimum Organisation (HOO), a blockchain assets service platform, emphasised the need to evolve the sector ethically in his address. “Through multi-linear and multi-dimensional growth, organisations can multiply quickly and help others to progress correctly. Unfortunately, the industry currently has a mix of correct and incorrect ways of operating; it is full of successes and many more failures. We want to reduce those failures and increase the successes by sound methodology and wealth generation that contributes to society, spreading the wealth generation to more than a few institutions.”

The no-code platform helps simplify complex operations

As constantly evolving innovation compels Middle East organisations to rebuild their business process, WORKS no-code platform, which allows for the construction of high-quality, enterprise-grade tailor-made applications without coding, was showcased at the event. Clients define their business needs and the functionalities to be computerised, then make the settings in WORKS by simple mouse operations and without coding. They then start using the application immediately without any compilation or deployment.

du enhances data security processes

Du signed an agreement with Thales, a worldwide leader in data protection, to enhance its cybersecurity defence centre and digital trust portfolio.

With data, breaches increasing in frequency throughout the digital landscape and regulatory requirements mandating related compliance becoming more stringent, du has prioritised its focus on enhancing sensitive data security, both on-premises and cloud environments.

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Airbus To Support Dubai’s Public Safety And Security Efforts

Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Esharah Etisalat Security Solutions during the event, by which the two parties will collaborate to deploy the Tactilon Agnet communication and collaboration platform across Dubai to support the government’s operations and the Emirate’s public safety and security efforts.

Tactilon Agnet licences will be used by relevant organisations to give them access to integrated features, including voice services, instant messaging, video communication, location mapping, and emergency calls.

The planned implementation of Tactilon Agnet, which runs on standard and ruggedised smart devices, will benefit public safety personnel and first responders such as Dubai police, ambulance operators, Civil Defence forces, and transport and utility, and industry organisations, corporate sectors, and others.

Cyber AI-powered engine

LinkShadow, a cyber security analytics platform that modernises the SOC, launched its next-generation AI-powered engine. It is an end-to-end mechanism that enriches data for advanced machine learning (AML) anomalies detection capabilities and will empower the enterprises to manage the whole process from data collection to detection and visualisation.

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