Catch a glimpse into the future
Article by Louise Older Steffensen, Published in Scan Magazine issue 110
It is no exaggeration to say that technology has come to define our modern world, and the revolution shows no sign of slowing down: on the contrary, technology’s impact on the way we interact, produce and do business keeps expanding, and only our collective imagination is the limit. This September, the E-18 conference and exhibition will once again showcase some of the newest technological, electronic and robotic advances in Odense, Denmark.
The E-conferences began back in 2002 – the year that digital capacity exceeded analogue storage handling abilities for the rst time, signalling the advent of the dig- ital age. “It’s just incredible to think about all the changes that have occurred in the eld since then,” says E-18’s project man- ager, Søren Therkelsen. “The internet was still a new household thing, and progress has anything but slowed down since.”
The life-changing pace of technologi- cal evolution is perhaps best felt when we consider that the smartphone – and the app development that accompanied it – only really gained traction ten years ago. And those are just the most visible areas of change. “Technology business- es and electronics producers have seen their entire industry transformed beyond recognition with recent concepts like Big Data and IoT,” Therkelsen adds. “These will be big at the conference this year.”
The last conference, E-16, took place two years ago and featured 142 exhibitors from Denmark and abroad as well as 3,600 vis- itors and 75 conference talks. “This year will be even bigger,” Therkelsen notes.
“We’ll have different areas, such as an innovation zone, to connect people across different expertises, as well as a greater focus on the conference and workshops. There will even be a parallel robotics ex- hibition for the rst time, in recognition of the fact that robotics, electronics and digitalisation are more intricately tied to- gether than ever.”
Several well-known international com- panies will make their rst visit or re- turn to showcase their newest products – and to meet future collaborators. One of those companies is the electronics giant Arrow, which has been part of the exhibition at the E-conferences since the beginning. This year, they are also on the committee for E-18.
“As the technological world becomes increasingly complex, expansive and intricate, the benets of cooperation and ex- changing ideas across different sectors becomes not just beneficial to businesses, but crucial,” says Morten Kreiberg Block, engineering director at Arrow Nordic.
“We’ve benefitted greatly from the previous conferences through the people we’ve met and the creativity we’ve encountered,” he says. “Naturally, the exhibition is a great way to show other experts the new products and visions that we bring to the table, but it is equally valuable to us as a way to connect with the innovators and start-ups with the great ideas that we can help to support and develop.”
Local technology on a global scale
“When most people think of electronics production today, they probably think of vast factories in Asia producing as much as possible, as cheaply as possible,” says Therkelsen. “But that’s beginning to be an outdated view.”
As technology advances and becomes tailored to the specific needs of individual enterprises and systems, more and more different components and skillsets are required in order to create the solutions needed.
“Denmark, and Scandinavia more broadly, has an excellent, innovative production sector. We’re well-known for our design, of course, and for producing honest, high-quality and innovative products. We’re moving on from the mass-produced to the tailormade, from apps to circuit boards, and that’s why Scandinavia is emerging as an important and inspirational player on the international stage,” says Therkelsen.
“I heard a crazy thing the other day,” Block recalls. “Now clearly, the amount of data we’re able to collect and process is accelerating at a crazy speed every year. There’s this theory that all of the text humankind had created up until 1940 would take up around 70 terabytes of storage today. That’s a tiny amount compared to modern computers – we’re already seeing normal external hard drives for home use that can hold a couple of terabytes. Since then, information has just exploded. Imagine what we can do with all this knowledge, and all the possibilities that the future holds!”