From talking robots to turning everyday objects into projection screens, media companies from both the UAE and abroad came together at Abu Dhabi media hub twofour54 this week to showcase the latest trends and innovations in the industry.
As part of UAE Innovation Month, the free zone hosted its first Connect event of the year with the theme of innovation.
The event, which took place at Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE, on February 6, was a chance for partners at twofour54 as well as media companies from abroad to network and find out about the latest trends in tech.
The event saw an impressive turnout of over 300 attendees coming together to experience and learn what the future of media has to offer.
Guests were greeted by, and had the chance to socialise with, one of the guests of honour – Pepper the humanoid robot. The Abu Dhabi firm behind Pepper, twofour54 partner Yas Digital Media, specialises in creating digital experiences and solutions to help companies engage with customers.
In total, 10 firms exhibited at Connect, including Tokyo-based Naked Inc, the firm behind Tokyo Art City, which held a workshop on projection mapping, a technology that turns any object – no matter its shape - into a display surface for video projection.
Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54, said: “Innovation is vital to developing a thriving, sustainable media industry in Abu Dhabi.”
“The era of media dictating what a consumer should see, hear or access is over. Instead, it is the consumer who is in the driving seat, dictating to firms what content they want to consume – as well as when and how,” she said.
“And at twofour54, we encourage and nurture innovation. “Innovation is not just about ideas, it is about making ideas happen and that is the premise of our connect events. It gives the community the opportunity to network, to share ideas and news, to ask questions, and to act on the answers,” she added.
“This is why we are investing in promising start-ups and forming partnerships with like-minded organisations - and why we invited companies from around the world to join us at Connect as part of UAE Innovation Month,” she concluded.
Among the innovations on show were:
•A mobile app from Akyasi that allows you to shop without the hassle of carrying around bags – instead the bags are brought to you when you’re ready to go.
•KidzUnplugged also showcased how it is finding ways for parents to spark children’s imagination without the need to plug in to technology.
•While Korean company Holotive showcased its work with holograms, which can be used for a variety of purposes, including content creation and signage.
Among the other companies that attended Connect were Fuji Television, Narrativa, Mental Images, Swoo, and Tuitify.
Divyesh Mahajan, chief executive officer, Swoo, another twofour54 partner at Connect, said: “We are grateful to twofour54 for the opportunity to showcase our media platform and we were excited by the other innovations on show at Connect.”
“This event was an excellent chance to share our expertise with like-minded businesses and we look forward to exploring opportunities with many of them in the future,” he added.
Twofour54 actively encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. Last year, it was ranked 10th on the Forbes Middle East’s list of the 50 Most Active Investors – and the second highest accelerator.
This years’ kick off Connect event was the perfect opportunity to bring partners, companies from outside twofour54, and government together to explore ways they can collaborate, innovate and create, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service
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