Philip Wogart of VRARA Germany interviews Philipp Wilhelm of CEBIT

If you would like to get discounts to attend or exhibit CeBIT, email 

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As part of the run up to CEBIT this year, I had the chance to speak with Philipp Wilhelm who heads up the activities for the Deutsche Messe in Hannover as regards immersive tech. This year the conference will be in the second week June, and the German Chapters of the Association are excited to be partnering with Germany’s largest technology conference to showcase our members and expertise in Hannover. 

Hello Philipp and thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and discuss CEBIT with us. I want to jump right in and ask for our international audience what does CEBIT mean? It’s an acronym no? But more importantly what its legacy has been and where it is headed…

Thank you very much for having me! That’s kind of a hard questions at the beginning. The name CeBIT is quite old, the show exists for over 35 years. So when its first episode started I assume more than 70% of the technology we have today did not exist back then in the show. In the past the name ment  in German “Centrum der Büro- und Informationstechnik” something like “marketplace for office IT” and back then it was pretty accurate. But CEBIT has changed a lot over the past years and the meaning too. For the 2018 edition CEBIT has a brand new concept. The old known and valued business focus still remains valid but we add a younger component to the show, a festival for digitization and some new topics triggering younger and more creative professional visitor groups. As a result we are also rebranding the name by letting the small “e” grow up to a capital “E” for “Experience the digitization”. CEBIT is a feeling and place to be, not an acronym any more. 

This rebranding is quite exciting actually. The festival approach will certainly appeal to a younger generation of attendees and exhibitors I imagine. Please tell us a little about the diverse technologies that will be showcased this year.

CEBIT has 4 core elements all focusing on digitization that’s where the “d!” comes from. The festival is named d!campus it is an open air area in the middle of the exhibition ground and will be hosting festival stages with artist, showcases and networking back yards, all focused on casual networking after the business hours. The biggest part and most similar to the “old” CEBIT is the d!cononomy part. There visitors find everything they need to digitize their company. From accounting software, datacenters, office IT, security software down to workplace IT. The really game changing technologies as AR/VR, AI, drones and other technologies among startups are hosted in the d!tec part of the show. This will be the most interesting for your members to browse around, test some tec and listen to conference talks. These conferences are the last of the 4 elements named d!talk and are located in the halls and free to attend. Spread over the show and conferences are our lead topics as: VR/AR, Future Mobility, IoT & 5G, AI, Human Robotics, Security and for sure Blockchain.

Well all these are gonna be real hot topics for the coming years for sure. Let me focus in a bit more on spatial computing now. Virtual and Augmented Reality being the name our of association, I’m sure the readers want to know more to expect this year. Can you share with us about any exciting demos that will be coming to the expo or d!talks?

Absolutely, we will have great content and demos at the show. Something that impresses me all the time is from holofill, it’s a hologram in a box/ screen and you can see it without a headset. We will have the latest gloves for VR by Sensoryx, great AR-Kit demos by VuFrame and even some cool demos by Innoactive. Beside these Startups there will also be companies who are in the market for a very long time as Leica Geo Systems showcasing special cameras for, I think you call it “point cloud scanning”, sorry not an expert. Collaborative workplaces in VR  will be shown and some more great showcases and technologies I am unfortunately not allowed to talk about at the moment. But some headsets no one has seen before will be showcased too. ;-) 
So for everyone from B2C to deep B2B solutions will be showcased at the show.

The Association is privileged that you have invited us to participate too, so thank you for that. At this point I feel obliged to mention that we have secured discounts for our members to visit and exhibit this year and hope to continue our participation for years to come. Let me ask you Philipp how did you get into VR yourself? And personally where do you see it headed now that the hype has died down?

We are very happy to cooperate with the VRARA, you have a great international network and we love to support you and the growing spirit of the, let’s call it XR-Industry. My first contact with VR was with a DK2 Headset at an event I attended around 2 years back in the US. Being very fascinated I decided to do some research on the topic and even did my MBA-thesis on “Immersive technologies in the sales process”, doing that I experienced how open minded, giving and forward thinking this great industry is. It’s always a great pleasure working with XR-people. 

I have also been astounded how amazing the community is, in person and also on social media. I look forward to infinite potential Social VR has to offer and concerned at the same time of course, but I’m an optimist in this respect.

So I’m excited for my first year at CEBIT as an attendee, exhibitor and speaker ;) 
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us a heads-up about all that going on in Hannover this June 11-15 (FYI: Monday is conference only, from Tuesday the expo opens to the public). 


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