Electronica is Busy

By Bob Raikes
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It’s a four years since I attended the biennial Electronica trade show in Munich (it alternates with a show for production automation, called Productronica). Last time, a colleague attended as I was in Rio de Janeiro, giving a keynote. In November, choosing Rio over Munich wasn’t the hardest decision I have ever made! The colleague reported that there wasn’t much to see, so I wasn’t really looking forward to my trip, especially as it involved two late flights and snow. However, there were quite a few stories and I only got to the main booths in the day that I had allowed myself. Given more time, I would have gone looking for some of the less obvious companies. However, I think we got some interesting news and met some companies that we haven’t met before.

I was particularly impressed by the number of Chinese companies that attended this time, many more than I remember in the past. I attended from 2004 (we covered the show for the first time in 2002) and, initially, all the main display and panel vendors exhibited, but as Germany and Europe in general became less important for consumer and IT-related electronics, the show re-invented itself as the place to go to meet the makers of industrial products and companies in the automotive sector, which remains strong, especially in Germany. Now, those are the main themes.

The show was busy and the organisers reported 2,913 companies exhibiting and 73,000 visitors (from more than 80 countries) and vendors seemed happy with the show. I was struck by the number of display vendors that were also highlighting sensors and input systems. At the SID, somebody made the suggestion that the Society for Information Display should re-name itself the Society for Interactive Display. At Electronica, that kind of alignment looked very rational.

Electronica 2018 is from November 13th to 16th.