Google boss lays out future vision at world's top tech fair

Mar 05, 2012 by Richard Carter

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt cast a science-fiction vision of the future as the world's top tech fair opened Monday, with the German IT sector predicting record sales in 2012.

"Think back to 'Star Trek', or my favourite the 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'. Much of what those writers imagined is now possible," said Schmidt.

"Translating .. voice recognition, electronic books. The people who predict that , virtual reality or self-driving cars will soon be commonplace are right," he added.

"Governments will be able to spot the economic makings of a crisis before they happen and doctors will be able to accurately predict the outbreak of disease before anyone feels it," predicted Schmidt.

The tech boss was speaking at the opening ceremony of the CeBIT, the world's biggest high-tech fair in the northern German city of Hanover, with 4,200 exhibitors from 70 countries expected to wow punters with their .

This year, the fair was to focus on the possibilities offered by "", the concept of storing data remotely rather than on individual machines, as well as "managing trust", or the hot topic of Internet security.

Declaring the fair officially open, Chancellor returned to this theme of "managing trust", saying it was especially important among world leaders as they battled to solve the .

Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, this year's "partner country" at the CeBIT, expressed the hope that "technology, when put to human interests, can certainly produce a true revolution for the well-being of the people at large."

During the fair, tech giants Samsung, Sharp, Microsoft, and will be showing off the latest ultra-thin and the smartphones of the future for work as well as futuristic, weird and wacky gadgets for fun.

Among the highlights is a robot that can make your lunch and a car that can change its length to slot into tricky parking spaces.

Others include a virtual "eraser" for wiping out traces of potentially embarrassing mistakes on the Internet, a system for protecting smartphones from eavesdropping and a mobile device for asthmatics to assess the air quality.

And in the run-up to the fair, the German IT sector published new forecasts saying it expected to shrug off the eurozone debt crisis and register record sales this year.

IT industry lobby BITKOM said it expected sales growth of 1.6 percent this year to 151.0 billion euros ($199 billion), pinning its hopes on the futuristic "cloud computing" technology.

If confirmed, this would be a significant improvement on the 0.5 percent gain seen last year in the sector and the first time sales have topped the 150-billion-euro mark.

"The debt crisis in Europe has not been able to touch the German high-tech sector yet. Companies' order books are filled nicely," said Dieter Kempf, the body's president.

"The IT sector is doing much better than the general economy and is therefore acting as a stabilising factor," Kempf told reporters, presenting the new forecasts.

The positive trend in the sector should feed through into the labour market, BITKOM added, predicting an additional 10,000 jobs would be created this year.

The most meteoric growth was likely to be registered by "cloud computing", which has proved to be a "complete change in the way the sector operates", he said.

This sector was expected to enjoy growth in Germany of 37 percent per year on average until 2016. This year, the "cloud computing" business was expected to grow by 47 percent to 5.3 billion euros.

Despite the bullish forecasts, BITKOM said that the IT sector in Europe would underperform other parts of the world.

In China, the sector was expected to grow by 9.7 percent, in the United States by 3.1 percent, in the whole 27-nation EU by 1.8 percent and in Japan by 1.1 percent.

At a global level, the sector is expected to grow by about four percent this year, according to the BITKOM forecasts.

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User comments : 4

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Peter Cao
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
Well, while respecting the great nation of Germany, can't agree with Eric Schmidt for what he had done in a case which happened in Stanford and which had last for many years, and the case had not been clarified till today ...

I bet people of Germany would not agree with Eric Schmidt either, once they learn what Eric really had involved into, and which would not be gone until clarified to the public...

Eric Schmidt's fame would not be burdenless until those cases would be completely clarified, and Eric Schmidt knows what they are about
Peter Cao
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012

I brought the case to the public because as a human being, anyone has the responsibility to crack down such a murder case which includes killing the innocent; and what's more, Eric Schmidt had directed such a murder to threaten me for sake of Sebastian Thrun, as well as had tried an unsuccessful plotted murder on victim(me) during their fight with authorities over this case (Fascism by nature).

Proof of real names, dates, photos along with a police case number are listed in my blog link [ http://tysurl.com/BsEnQ4 ]

By the way, though such crimes happened in America, regarding to people with German origin with Google's background, I am neither anti-Germany nor anti-America nor anti-Google, but actually anti-fascism ; and we all know that such fascism crimes would not be tolerated anywhere on this planet, let alone on land of America
Peter Cao
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012

On 2012/02/21 StanfordDaily article "virtual-learning" [http://www.stanfo...earning/] in Comments part regarding to a murder case about a Stanford student May Zhou with which Eric Schmidt had threatened my life for sake of a stanford professor Sebastian Thrun and a criminal suspect named Gabriele Scheler during their fight with Stanford:
=========================================

@concernedNetCitizen,

About your ARROGANT question "If you think you have evidence (and i mean physical evidence) to the contrary why do you not take it to the police, or at least post what evidence you have (and I mean PHYSICAL evidence like fibres, DNA, fingerprints and the like)."

---------------------------------------

I am not physically in America, so I'd rather communicate with the police officer who's respnosible for May Zhou's case via email to tell serious stuff, my contact [peter_vista@yahoo.com] ,
Peter Cao
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
@concernedNetCitizen,

I am not physically in America, so I'd rather communicate with the police officer who's respnosible for May Zhou's case via email to tell serious stuff, my contact [peter_vista@yahoo.com] , or we could discuss it right here on this board. Before the officer who's responsible would contact me for a serious discussion, how could you know there is no such PHYSICAL evidence to say May Zhou's death is definitely a murder but not a suicide? As a matter of fact, such PHYSICAL evidence already exists and that's what I am going to tell.

The point at this time is, who is this officer who's respnosible for May Zhou's case, whom I should talk to? Could you have me connect with this officer? I have serious stuff to report

Meanwhile, why don't you help us to figure out what's the motivation behind May Zhou's death

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