At Computex, Privacy Is a Thing of the Past

One of the main tasks facing every visitor to international conventions, particularly technological events, is identifying upcoming industry trends

Elihay Vidal, Taipei 12:5302.06.19
One of the main tasks facing every visitor to international conventions, particularly technological events, is identifying upcoming industry trends. Is it autonomous vehicles? Has the time come for 5G? Is it the cloud computing service providers that need to prepare themselves for an upcoming revolution? What niche is currently generating the largest buzz, and what does that predict for the domain for the next few years?


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So, here is the main trend from the Computex 2019 trade show held in Taiwan last week: forget privacy. In the next few years, more and more entities will begin monitoring you, photographing and videotaping you, and analyzing that information for their own gain.


Face monitoring. Photo: Shutterstock Face monitoring. Photo: Shutterstock



No matter where one looked during the event, a large television screen could be seen, tracking the crowd, framing their faces, bodies, or a certain item around them, and offering insights. Dozens of participating startups presented products based on visual and motion analysis, and on visual information analysis—for security purposes, for retail, for manufacturing optimization, and for various social applications.


Computex is one of the technological highlights of the year. For almost four decades, thousands of presenters and buyers flock to Taipei once a year, trying to be or find the next thing in an industry with an annual turnover of over $3 trillion. While Computex is perhaps not as headline-grabbing as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas or MWC in Barcelona, it is the most important event for the industry’s key companies: computer and CPU manufacturers, and the entire ecosystem that surrounds them.


Computex is the stage where manufacturers can not only unveil new products before they reach the market, but also showcase the capabilities of already released CPUs. AMD chose this year to present CPUs that rival Nvidia on both performance and price. Intel displays the strength of both its existing and new CPUs. Nvidia chose to highlight the cloud service providers that use its GPUs.


The CPU industry has been recently rocked by the U.S.-Chinese tension, both two of the largest consumers computing products. While the CPU manufacturing industry is mostly controlled by American or U.S.-aligned companies, over the past two years, China has started to set the stage for a competing industry of its own. If the tensions escalate into a complete boycott on CPU supply to China, American suppliers will have a lot to lose, while China will accelerate its efforts to set itself up as an independent competitor.



These CPUs are also the cornerstone of innovation in the industry. As their performance improves and AI-enabled computers become more commonplace, machine vision becomes more and more dominant in the industry, and AI becomes a basic consumer product. Any entrepreneur that has an idea for connecting visual data with a relevant insight can offer a product to a wide variety of customers, at low prices and high efficiency.


The author was a guest of Intel Corporation at the conference.
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