5G, IoT, autonomous driving, metaverse or robotics: How will we live and work in the future? On September 13 and 14, 2022, around 70,000 visitors to Digital X in Cologne received precise answers to these questions. More than 300 partners, over 200 brandhouses and around 60 startups presented innovations, solutions and practical examples from the world of tomorrow – for the first time also for private visitors. Over 300 top international speakers, including Apple founder Stephen Wozniak and Jessica Alba, US actress and founder of The Honest Company, discussed all facets of digital transformation.
“Innovation needs inventors,” Steve Wozniak recalled of his days at Apple, “when I didn’t want to make big money but wanted to show off my engineering skills.” He predicted that quantum computing would be the next big thing in Silicon Valley. “However, I don’t like to look far into the future,” he said. When it comes to mobility, he believes in quality “Made in Germany” and said that Mercedes builds the better cars. Their design is intuitive – “just like Apple’s products.”
The topic of sustainability ran through Digital X like a green ribbon – in the brandhouses, on the stages and with the partners. Through CO2 offsetting, it was held in a climate-neutral manner. Jessica Alba encouraged the audience, speaking of a “relentless drive and a hope and a dream, that people have every single day – regardless where they come from.” She thinks “there’s something just ingrained in us that if we work hard enough everything is possible.” For Alba, “there is something really great about that hope.” She thinks “that hope and dream hopefully evolve into a better future, a more sustainable planet, that we certainly care of each other and certainly care of our planet.”
Digital X: World exhibition of digitization
“Over the last two days, we have shown the enormous power that comes from partnerships. Digital X moves Germany a decisive step forward in terms of digitization,” said Hagen Rickmann, Director Business at Telekom Deutschland and patron of Digital X. The next Digital X will take place on September 20 and 21, 2023.
The world exhibition of digitization brought megatrends around mobility, security, New Work, urbanization or sustainability to life: A remote-controlled tattoo robot from Kuka showed how robots and humans can work together across national borders. Those with a growling stomach could get vegan food from the 3D-printer in a food truck. Over several stations, ByondXR demonstrated how to turn an online shop into a virtual store experience with overlaid 3D products, avatars and extended reality (XR). Care and healthcare facilities will be interested in LAQA’s networked drinking cup, which reminds users to drink enough fluids. 5G paves the way for autonomous driving. MIRA showed how drivers control their vehicles remotely.
Digital X as a link between startups and customers
The Future Quartier at Digital X was all about innovation. More than 60 startups presented their solutions in the fields of sustainability, health, individualization, the New Work and knowledge culture/education. Visitors experienced digital twins via 3D scanner, remote customer support with augmented reality, digital clothing on the smartphone or skin image analysis directly at the booth.
The first edition of the Digital X Awards were presented in cooperation with the German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses BVMW. Nölle + Nordhorn, Rauschenberger, Select, Emons, German Volunteers and #Weareallukrainians received awards. The Digital X Award honors digital lighthouse projects in SMEs that use digital solutions in a particularly consistent and innovative way and have improved their products with the help of digitization or developed new business models.