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IFA International 2019 Review Edition

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IFA+ SUMMIT THOUGHT LEADERS SHARE THEIR VISIONS OF THE FUTURE Stuart Adcock Head of the Facial Motion Department, Weta Digital Dr Shermin Voshmgir Director of the Research Institute for Crypto Economics at the Vienna University of Economics The IFA+ Summit is IFA’s dedicated digital future thinktank. With everything from big data to blockchain and AI to 5G on the agenda, delegates at the 2019 edition were treated to exceptional insights from leading thinkers, global trendsetters and creative visionaries across various disciplines. WETA DIGITAL SHOWS OFF CUTTING-EDGE EFFECTS Examples of dynamic speakers included Dr Shermin Voshmgir, director of the Research Institute for Crypto Economics at the Vienna University of Economics, who discussed why tokens, as an application of blockchain, might be as revolutionary as the emergence of WWW as an application of the internet. Also on the IFA+ Summit stage was Qualcomm Europe’s VP of Technology Dino Flore, who discussed how a combination of “5G connectivity and computing capabilities will bring about new levels of performance and efficiencies, enabling benefits such as flexible manufacturing and predictive maintenance.” There was also an absorbing talk by Parham Eftekhari, Executive Director, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) about the role of cyber security. Eftekhari’s focus was “the importance of prioritising security in a world where functionality, design and profitability drive decision-making.” Day One’s tracks were entitled “A Social Contract for the Digital Age” and “Smart Connectivity, Blockchain and a New Era of Autonomy”. Day Two’s focal points were “Learning Machines and Smart Robots” and “New Experience Spaces and Smart Design”. Another exciting element of IFA+ Summit is that it provides an opportunity to meet speakers offstage in a relaxed atmosphere. At the aptly-named “All You Can Meet” at the Marshall-House, visionaries and visitors came together to exchange ideas over drinks and dinner. The event was organised by the Berlin Music Commission, German Startups Association and Berlinale A highlight of the IFA+ Summit this year were the presentations by the special effects studio Weta Digital. Their latest action film creation, Gemini Man, stars Hollywood superstar Will Smith and is directed by the Oscarwinning director Ang Lee, renowned for his films, Hulk, Life of Pi and Brokeback Mountain. The script calls for a convincing younger version of the star, Will Smith, and among the guests at the summit was Weta Digital’s Head of the Facial Motion Department, Stuart Adcock who has been in charge of the unit since 2018. He demonstrated the phenomenal technical possibilities available in digital facial animation, by showing how it was possible to create a completely digital, 23-year-old Smith – in 4K and with a high frame rate of 120 frames per second. Adcock also discussed what he believes will be the main developments in cinema in the near future. Leading the special effects workshop was the New Zealandbased director, screenwriter, and producer Peter Jackson, best known for his Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Gemini Man tells the story of a contract killer called Henry Brogan, played by Smith. Brogan suddenly finds himself at the centre of a chase by a mysterious young agent, who disturbingly, seems to be able to anticipate every one of Brogan’s steps in advance. It comes to a climax when Brogan is confronted by his younger self 12

GOING THE EXTRA MILE… AUTONOMOUSLY A former Apple developer relations specialist, Pejvan Beigui has been CTO of EasyMile, a company that produces “autonomous shuttles for the last mile”, since 2014. We asked him to recap his presentation at the Shift Automotive Conference for IFA International readers. I started by presenting the very deep and meaningful impact that autonomous vehicles will have on our society, and why there’s such a massive amount of investment going into that sector. I also discussed the different approaches from companies such as Tesla, Waymo and EasyMile. And, with this vision in mind, I tried to separate the dream from reality, and what the road ahead will look like. Can you tell us a little more about EasyMile and your activities? EasyMile is a major actor in the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) revolution with our EZ-10 autonomous shuttle. We have sold more than 110 and deployed them in 20+ countries, from Australia and Japan to the US. For three years, we have also been working on integrating our Level 4 autonomous stack in vehicles from other manufacturers, such as Alstom’s tramway, TLD’s towtractor and a bus from IVECO. How will roads become safer with these solutions? Over the past 15 years, technologies under the umbrella name of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) have helped make cars much safer than ever before. Unfortunately, in many circumstances, the driver needs much more than just assistance (drunk driving, texting while driving, etc.). While it will take a few years for autonomous vehicles to prove their superiority, these seem to be some of the low hanging fruits that autonomy can pick today Pejvan Beigui CTO, Easymile I TRIED TO SEPARATE THE DREAM FROM REALITY, AND WHAT THE ROAD AHEAD WILL LOOK LIKE THE CAR THAT THINKS IT’S YOUR HOME Sebastian Stegmüller Mobility Innovation Dept., Fraunhofer IAO Cars of the future will be much more than modes of transportation, gradually evolving to become “homes away from home”. This, at least, is the vision of MXT lab, jointly founded by Fraunhofer IAO and McKinsey. At Shift Automotive this year, Sebastian Stegmüller, who heads Mobility Innovation at Fraunhofer IAO, outlined work in the new innovation lab. We asked him to tell our readers more: The MXT Lab initiative is not only a think tank but has also a physical home at the Mobility Innovation Lab - a laboratory located at Fraunhofer’s Center for Virtual Engineering at Stuttgart. It is a research facility for prototyping, product and service evaluations as well as for ideation workshops. Further, it provides an insight into the mobility of tomorrow featuring, among other things, vehicles that interact with pedestrians or hint at the future of city mobility. Part of the idea of the MXT Lab is to create a network of industry partners to collaborate on new mobility solutions. Together with my team, my job is to look at the ideas that are emerging, and determine which technologies, services and business models could catch on. What are the end goals of the research? We are attempting to create a founded basis for lucrative business models and technologies. This targets not only automotive manufacturers and suppliers, but companies from the entertainment, service and IT sectors as well. We and our partners have also taken care to bring on board businesses, municipalities and other stakeholders. The network remains open to any companies wishing to be involved with the MXT Lab. Just reach out if you are interested www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 23 September 2019 13

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