Big Data, Internet of Things Take Center Stage at CeBIT 2014

By Wayne Rash  |  Print this article Print

NEWS ANALYSIS: CeBIT 2014's Top Innovator collection includes a massive big data display, while the Internet of Things display shows off everything from connected luggage to huge crop harvesters.

This data along with data from other equipment can be used in conjunction with big data analytics to develop a plan for fertilization, crop rotation or predictions of future yields.

Deutsche Telekom is looking at connected devices on a much smaller scale, including a connected suitcase. The company is showing a series of connected luggage models that include an electronics one that can communicate with the outside world. The owner can communicate with the luggage using a smartphone to find out where it is after the airlines lose it. A GPS tracking device is included in the electronic module to make finding the location of the connected luggage even easier.

According to a spokesperson for DT, the luggage includes Transportation Security Agency-approved locks, which means that the government can still open it to snoop through your stuff, but when the luggage handlers break it open to steal your valuables prior to sending it to some other airport other than your actual destination, the luggage will alert you. This luggage, called Bag2go by DT, includes a display that can show a standard airline luggage tag. The luggage is made from high-strength steel and aircraft-grade aluminum, which should delay the acquisitive luggage handlers.

Big data and the Internet of things aren't the only topics at this vast trade show. As you'd imagine, security is a hot button for people who feel threatened by U.S. intelligence practices since the revelations of former National Security Agency contract employee Edward Snowden. Products and services everywhere are being billed as being "Snowden Proof" or "NSA Proof."

The NSA snooping was also a major discussion point at the CeBIT opening ceremonies, which featured speeches by both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Several observers told eWEEK that Snowden and his revelations have been major reasons for sudden growth in the European security industry. It's one of the reasons Cameron said that London's rapidly growing tech area is exploding at the rate that it is.

Snowden and the NSA aside, CeBIT is seeing a resurgence. This year the Hannover Messe folks who run the show decided to get rid of consumer products and services and focus entirely on business IT. Because of this, the television sets and washing machines are long gone, replaced by a much larger display area in more buildings.

The new corporate focus seems to be attracting a more professional set of attendees with a lot more money to spend. In addition, non-business attendees have been banished. The result is that the show has expanded both in terms of exhibit space and overall attendance. That's good for CeBIT, but considering now many NSA proof products and services are being shown, maybe not so good for the NSA.