The future is cunningly sneaking up on us. Rapid advances in science and technology are reprogramming not just our way of life, but life itself. From health to industry to democracy, no aspect of our society will be left untouched. Steam mechanised production, electricity added massive scale, and computers automated it. These leaps profoundly changed society and the nature of work. The fourth industrial revolution is gearing up. Artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things will bring even faster change - in ways that are as yet unimaginable. There is still much to do. Be it 5G, the end of geo-blocking, or better regulation and international cooperation. Nonetheless, we think this selection of projects offers an inspiring glimpse into the world of tomorrow. Tallinn Digital Summit presents a curated technology exhibition featuring a number of innovative projects and technologies from across Europe in five focus areas.
Detailed information on the Tallinn Digital Summit event page.
eGovernment: The backbone of digital society
Digital government is a key component of digital society. Europeans expect convenient, transparent, and secure government services that work across borders. This requires more than just technology. We need new service-design principles, ones that apply ‘digital first’ thinking to public services. To migrate to digital services, both public and private, Europeans need secure digital identities we can trust. After providing this, people will be able to authenticate themselves and sign documents digitally, leaving more room for the rest of their lives.
Exhibits at the Tallinn Digital Summit Expo include: an overview on cybersecurity activities in Europe, cross-border eGovernment building blocks and e-ID developments, an introduction to the Estonian e-residency concept, a blockchain technology introduction by Guardtime.
In 2012, Estonia became the first country to use blockchain technology on the national level for security purposes.
The partner for this deployment is Guardtime, the world's largest blockchain technology company. Founded right here in Estonia.
Connectivity: Devices that know each other
We all know that it's coming. A world where you can download anything in seconds, where your home is smart enough to know your needs, and you are whisked across town without a driver in sight. This is the world of 5G broadband. Spinning beach balls and hourglass icons won't do. High-capacity networks are a must for a proper digital economy. In both industrial and everyday use, these high-capacity networks will bring more mobility, agility, reliability, and low-latency remote control. With bandwidth bottlenecks gone, we can finally weave physical and digital realms together. Say hello to self-driving cars, virtual realities, delivery drones, and billions of interconnected devices.
Of factories today, 90% are wired. Going wireless will make them much more agile. Only 5G is reliable enough to support this, enabling true human/robot co-existence.
As 5G provides massive bandwidth, other exciting applications are on the way. Events and entertainment will never be the same.
OZO, Nokia's wireless and portable VR camera, can immerse thousands of sports fans in a game. A perfect fit for cranes and drones, OZO can also support public-safety operations, providing full 360-degree video to firefighters and other first responders.
Telia offered attendees the opportunity to take a seat and experience the real power of 5G, by remotely controlling an excavator. Participants were able to hop in and see how it feels to use the 5G technology that will soon be impacting various industries.
Visitors were also able to wear VR glasses to enter the world of mixed-reality mining. These are just a few examples on how 5G can be used, ready for participants to try out right now!
5G will ignite new ecosystems and open up unimaginable innovation. It is Telia's mission to make it possible.
Mobility: Smarter and safer transportation
Humans are notoriously unreliable behind the wheel. If we want safer roads intelligent and autonomous vehicles will help. Our cars are already smarter than ever, and self-driving vehicles and public transport are being road-tested across Europe. The goal? Safer roads, better traffic management, smarter freight management and logistics as well as cleaner and more accessible cities. For all this, we must build a trusting relationship between people and machines.
Exhibits at the Tallinn Digital Summit Expo include: The Audi Aicon, an autonomous concept car, and PIA, Audi's personal intelligent assistant, as well as BMW’s CarData and cooperative intelligent transport system platforms that allow better decision-making for drivers and for safer traffic on roads, and Starship Technologies' zero-emission delivery robots.
Audi Aicon – A fully electric car with autonomous driving technologies for long-range luxury travel. Its progressive design hints at an emotional and fascinating future. Inside reveals a new dimension of space, luxury, and digital entertainment.
PIA – Audi’s personal intelligent assistant. Thanks to artificial intelligence, PIA learns how to reduce driver stress.
The all-new myAudi App – Using your phone to interact with your Audi has never been this easy.
BMW CarData uses telematics data to put drivers in control of their custom services, from pay-as-you-drive insurance rates to repair and maintenance.
The system is transparent, follows competitive neutrality, and secures customer privacy through consent-based rules. BMW makes every effort to guarantee the security of a consumer's vehicle and any relevant data.
The BMW Group is also a leader in implementing the cooperative intelligent transport system. Using LTE cellular technology, the BMW Group offers a wide variety of hazard warnings, including road obstruction and vulnerable road user alerts. In the future, many more follow and BMW cars will also remind drivers to create a lane for emergency-vehicle access.
Starship Technologies is building a fleet of robots designed to deliver goods locally in 15-45 minutes.
Starship Technologies' robots have travelled tens of thousands of miles, met millions of people, and have been tested in over 80 cities around the world.
The zero-emission delivery robots can travel on sidewalks within a 3 km radius. They reduce congestion and pollution in cities and neighborhoods by cutting the number of cars and delivery vans.
The robots travel at safe and slow speeds with sophisticated obstacle detection to ensure safety and convenience for pedestrians. They drive autonomously, but are monitored by humans who can take control at any time.
Launched by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, Starship is changing the way parcels, groceries and food are delivered.
From lab to life: New research and innovation
Europeans are aging. We live longer and need to remain healthy for longer. Technology must serve and empower our minds and bodies. From research to patient care, numerous projects are poised to deliver on that promise. Scientific breakthroughs are nudging their way into real life. With more smart technologies, new efficient materials and task automisation, being old isn't what it used to be.
Exhibits at the Tallinn Digital Summit Expo include: a 3D printed artificial heart, CYBERLEGs Plus Plus exoskeletons, brain research by the Human Brain Project, and innovative nanomaterials by Graphene Flagship.
3D Printed Heart
Heart failure affects millions of people worldwide. Current treatment options and the number of donor hearts are limited. 3D printing allows us to produce a personalised artificial heart, a soft device that pumps blood just like the real one.
Modern medical imaging helps design an artificial heart that closely resembles the patient’s own. Actuated by pressurised air, the prototype uses silicone pumps similar to the human heart, which may reduce adverse events. This is the first step towards patient-specific implant design and production.
The CYBERLEGs Plus Plus project tests powered robotic ortho-prostheses for above-knee amputees.
CYBERLEGs Plus Plus wants to help people stand up, sit down, turn, walk, and climb and descend stairs. Restored mobility would allow amputees to perform physical activities, counteracting physical decline and improving overall health and quality of life.
The project involves academics, amputees, and members of the robotics and healthcare industry.
The Human Brain Project
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is presenting three key areas of its work. Each is a vital component in the HBP’s ICT-based scientific research infrastructure. This infrastructure will accelerate our ability to unlock the brain and exploit its secrets.
MiRO is a robot mammal built by HBP's neurorobotics team. The team explores how virtual brains work in real and simulated environments. This allows a seamless exchange of knowledge between neuroscience and robotics.
HBP allows one to peer inside the brain's nerve architecture with cutting-edge 3D polarised light microscopy. Developed by HBP's neuroinformatic team this tool allows HBP to view nerve fibres without staining and is used to build detailed 3D maps of the brain.
The BrainScaleS neuromorphic wafer mimics biological neural networks. The HBP neuromorphic computing team is at the forefront of this technology. Neuromorphic computers provide a powerful tool for understanding learning. They also promise computers of enhanced speed and energy efficiency.
The Graphene Flagship seeks to move the thinnest and strongest material known to science from labs to European society. In just ten years.
Through an academic-industrial consortium consisting of more than 100 partners in over 20 countries, Graphene Flagship aims to put graphene into service in innovation and economic growth.
Just one atom-layer thick, graphene is a million times thinner than a human hair and more than 200 times stronger than steel. It is flexible, transparent and a conductor of electricity that outperforms copper, and is a conductor of heat that beats all other known materials.
Graphene will soon find its way to new technologies everywhere, from energy and composites to electronics and biomedicine.
Skills: Empowering the workforce
Automation and digitalisation will mean smarter jobs. To keep up with the demand for skills, we must provide opportunities to acquire said skills. The digital workforce needs a broader skill set that includes learnability, problem-solving, critical thinking, and entrepreneurship. Automation will free up people and capital. At the same time, the shelf life of acquired skills is getting shorter. A total of 65% of children starting school today will land jobs that don't exist yet. They'll be acquiring several skill sets and pivoting into new careers over their (much-longer) lifetimes. Europe's education systems must be reimagined to support that.
Exhibits at the Tallinn Digital Summit Expo include: DE-ENIGMA autism therapy robots, Hello Ruby's computational thinking-enhancement tools for children, a number of mini-robots that teach basic programming skills, and the EU Presidency Translator, EU Code Week coding activities, Lingvist – AI powered language learning, and PRACE supercomputers.
Funded by Horizon 2020, DE-ENIGMA develops robot technology to help autistic children with their learning.
Autism affects more than 5 million people in the EU. DE-ENIGMA technology will help autistic children gain social and emotional skills, promoting their inclusion.
Attendees had a chance to meet Zeno, the DE-ENIGMA robot. Participants could play a game and find out how Zeno can change autistic children's lives, and had the opportunity to ask DE-ENIGMA researchers and autism experts about the future of autism therapy and education, researchers who were also be happy to share data from the testing phase.
Hello Ruby: My First Computer
Our world is run by computers. Many homes have more than a hundred of them, hiding in intelligent products we take for granted. Let's peek inside.
My First Computer is an introduction to these amazing and complicated machines. Brought to you by Hello Ruby, the world’s most whimsical way to learn about technology, computers and computational thinking.
Hello Ruby is all about curiosity, playfulness and logic. Hello Ruby provides tools for kids, parents and educators to learn to understand computing in a fun and creative way. In an increasingly technical world we need to make STE(A)M* education more approachable, colourful and diverse.
*STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
The EU Presidency Translator instantly translates texts, documents, and websites between Estonian and English.
Designed to complement Estonia's e-government platform during the country's 2017 Presidency of the Council of the European Union, it features the world’s first neural machine translation (NMT) system between Estonian and English.
AI-powered NMT examines the full context of a sentence, producing more fluent and readable translations that are incredibly human-like.
The EU Presidency Translator is part of the European Commission’s CEF eTranslation infrastructure, which enables public administrations to exchange information across language barriers and allows digital services to become fully multilingual.
EU Code Week
Code Week Ambassadors coordinate the initiative in their countries. But everyone can hold events to show motivated people how to create their own app, program a robot, or make anything they dream of.
If you can imagine it, coding will help you create it.
A few years ago, particle physicist Mait Müntel was working at CERN on the Higgs boson discovery team. In his free time, he sought to learn French, but found the available methods cumbersome.
Müntel decided to build his own system using practices employed in the search for the boson. He used the prototype for 200 hours and then took a high-school level French exam. He passed with an above-average grade.
Today, Lingvist has a million learners worldwide. To accelerate and personalise learning, the team combines the latest advances in deep learning, big data, and cognitive sciences.
P.S. Andrus Ansip, VP of the European Commission, uses Lingvist daily to practice his French.
Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE)
The Permoník is a mini supercomputer from PRACE member IT4Innovations, that showcases its power by tackling two demanding tasks. One is a species-survival simulation and the other uses parallel processing to speed up geometric visualisation. The Game of Life simulates the survival of a species. Developed by mathematician John Conway in 1970, the simulation's species exists on a grid pattern and follow a few simple rules:
- If a cell has two living neighbours it remains unchanged
- If a cell has three living neighbours, new life is created
- All other cells die or remain empty
The population either stabilises or dies out.
The other, ray-tracing, demonstration of the Tallinn Digital Summit Expo used Tachyon, a library developed by John E. Stone. It employs parallel processing for faster graphics calculations that draw basic geometric shapes.
Estonian teachers are encouraged to use robots in the classroom, no matter what the subject.
This way, students won't just learn STEAM* skills in a fun and playful manner, but they'll also stop being passive consumers of technology and start becoming its creators.
That’s because programmable robots fuel sequential thinking, logical reasoning and coding concepts. Mixed with play, these help lay the groundwork for a successful digital adulthood.
Robots at the Tallinn Digital Summit Expo showcased:
- Sphero Edu SPRK+ inspires curiosity, creativity, and invention through connected play and coding
- Strawbees Quirkbot brings play and curiosity into classrooms, and encourages learning by making
- mBot provides hands-on experience in graphical programming, electronics, and robotics
- Ozobot is a pocket-sized robot that supports academic growth and creativity
*STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.