5 things we learnt from GITEX 2016

We’ll soon see robot police officers and self-driving, 3D-printed cars on the streets of Dubai. 

Meryl D'Souza October 23, 2016

The Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (or Gitex as it’s commonly known) Technology Week is an annual information and communications technology trade event across Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

The 36th edition of Gitex Technology Week that concluded on October 20, focused on cutting edge technology with a particular focus on robotics and start-ups this year. Here are some of the biggest announcements from the five-day event.

Robocop is now a reality

The world’s first robot police officer will patrol the streets next year. The prototype of the android unveiled at GITEX can scan faces and is equipped with a touchscreen, which can be used to report a crime and process fines for traffic violations. The robot cop can also salute and shake hands. It is believed that the robot force will work together with  human cops by the time Dubai’s Expo 2020 comes by.

Biohacking is coming

For the first time ever in this region, Etisalat has unveiled a form of biohacking with injectable microchips. With this, users can pay for goods and services with a microchip that is embedded in the hand. With the help of a special syringe, users can inject the microchips into the back of their hand in the space between the forefinger and the thumb. The microchips that are capable of storing credit card, ID and business card data will sell for AED 500 a piece.

The Nissan and Dubai Police SOS link

The Dubai Police has teamed up with Nissan to enable an SOS system on the Japanese company’s 2016 Patrol and Maxima models. The system - that will be coming to other Nissan cars as well - will help the police keep track of accidents. If the car is involved in an accident, the new system will send a report about the vehicle’s location and other relevant information to the police. Even if the car is involved in an accident outside Dubai, the signal will be passed on to the Dubai police who will then alert the respective police force.

Drone hunters

Remember that rogue drone that forced Dubai airport authorities to close the airspace for more than an hour which resulted in flight diversions and delays? That was the third incident in the span of a year but its all set to be the last. Engineers from the UAE-based tech firm Exponent unveiled a drone hunter that can chase and take down unmanned aerial vehicles within minutes. The drone hunter is said to reach speeds of about 110km/hr. 

3D printed cars

Dubai has really taken to 3D printing more so than any other country. Keeping in line with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum intentions to make 25 per cent of the UAE’s vehicles self-driving by the year 2030, DijiRobotics unveiled WiGo – a 3D printed, self-driving vehicle that has been manufactured, assembled, and programmed in the UAE.