Where Humans and Androids meet

Hannover Messe, Germany’s leading industry trade show, shows how digital transformation can reinvigorate physical events. What we can learn from their unexpected success?

Hannover Messe, Germany’s leading industry trade show, shows how digital transformation can reinvigorate physical events. What we can learn from their unexpected success?

Would you believe Angela Merkel had a beer with an android just the other week? She seemed to enjoy it, as you can see. Straight away we begin to wonder: Was it the real Angela Merkel? Where’s the beer? Is this fake news?

With the continued rise of “alternative facts” and the Cambridge Analytics scandal, it’s easy to lose faith in what we read online.

In fact Angela Merkel and more than 100 robots came together in Hannover at the end of April.

On the other hand, interactions that include a face-to face element, the human touch, are more important than ever. Events like TED or the Berlin-based re:publica blogger meeting have the power to attract new audiences.

What makes an event appealing?

Hannover Messe, Germany’s leading industry trade show, shows how digital transformation can reinvigorate physical events. In previous years, it was seen as a meeting place of the “old industry”, lacking the glamour of Mobile World Congress, CES or CEBIT.

The rise of IoT, or Industrie 4.0 as it’s known in Germany, has started to change things. This year’s Hannover Messe marked its comeback as the meeting place for digital transformation in the industry.

Science Fiction with a Human Touch

More than 210 000 industry experts, journalists, and politicians experienced the impact of Industry 4.0 on business, on healthcare and education.

Free-flying robot foxes, digital hydropower, robots brewing beer and intriguing bionics; the show was full of astonishing practical examples of how smart machinery can improve our lives.

What makes the show so attractive is the chance to actually see, feel and engage with the science-fiction-like products. And, of course, to meet the humans who build and control them.

Next stop CeBIT?

CeBIT is scheduled for mid-June and wants to relaunch itself as business festival, targeting digital natives. With a focus on digital twins, robots and IoT, this clearly is a wise decision.

Now we’re looking forward to see what CeBIT brings. From this teaser video I’m sure IBM’s Ginni Rometty, who will open the show, will have some surprises for us!

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