The CeBit Sydney exhibition is, according to the program, divided into themes, such as e-health and mobile devices. It was difficult to detect these themes on the exhibition floor, with a seemingly random, but exciting, mix of exhibitors.
While the event is a collaboration between Australia and Germany, most in evidence were Chinese hardware manufacturers. Several Chinese cities and provinces had their own areas, with small booths from makers of everything from flashing paperweights to lithium batteries. This was the most exciting part of the exhibition for me. It was interesting to see that, for example Google Android smart phones, looking just like those now retaining for $300 in Australia, being offered for a retail price of $125.
There were numerous sub $300 tablet computers with 7 to 10 inch screens, looking like Apple iPads, but mostly running the Google Android operating system. One unusual unit had an optional clip on keyboard, making what looked like a netbook. Unfortunately the unit could not be folded with the keyboard installed, making it clumsy to carry.
This year I decided to just visit the Cebit exhibition and not attend any of the conferences. CeBIT uses very much a traditional conference format, with speakers giving prepared speeches, accompanies by Powerpoint slides. The "un-conferences" I have attended recently, which make use of the Internet and interactive IT to select speakers and topics and to aid presentations has made traditional conference talks seem very dated. It is particularly silly to have people get up and say how the Internet and hand-held wireless devices have changed communication, when they are not using the Internet or hand-held wireless devices to communicate that message.