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Gallery: SAP's tech of the future

At this year's CeBit, SAP showed off some of its technology of the future - including crisis center operations, inventory control, and a new type of bar code.

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Topic: SAP
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1 of 15 Andy Smith/ZDNet
As well as staging the first public appearance for its new co-CEOs and housing the German leg of its World Tour customer conference, SAP used the recent CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany to demo some of the projects that its research division is currently working on. Silicon.com shows off some of its latest concepts.

With stands in five of CeBIT's 19 halls, SAP showed off a number of displays demonstrating how SAP tech could be applied to various projects in the future, including to support crisis response centers in the event of a major incident, as shown here.

Using the scenario of a severe storm approaching Germany, the display shows how emergency services could gather and use information to help prepare for the severe weather, and to take appropriate decisions to mitigate its effects, such as deciding where to send help first when the storm has passed.

The display uses techniques and information developed by the German federal government-funded Soknos security research program to help improve the way cities respond to such incidents. The display shows how SAP technology could be used to integrate a number of different data sources and process flows into an urban management platform that organizations can use to deal with emergency situations.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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This screen shows a map of Berlin which crisis center operatives can use to monitor an area hit by an emergency, such as a city affected by a power outage caused by a storm or a town hit by an explosion.

Here, SAP tech integrates and presents information on the event. This can be used to help teams respond to any incidents quickly and appropriately, showing which areas have been hardest hit, which access routes remain open and the geographical scale of the affected areas.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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Another part of the SAP Research stand looked at how to make manufacturing processes more efficient by using technology to help workers pick various components from stock warehouses.

The demo included a shelf of the parts required to build a lorry engine accompanied by a screen showing a graphic of which shelves the components can be found on.

The order picker uses the screen to see which containers they need to take parts from, with the shelves turning from pale green to dark green when the part has been picked.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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The demo incorporates a head-mounted display, which is worn by the stock picker. The grid of boxes representing the shelves is projected onto the display, allowing the stock picker to see which parts still need to be picked as they work at the shelves.

German chancellor Angela Merkel tried out the headset when she visited CeBIT on the first day of the show.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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The headset connects to a mini-computer, worn by the user, which is wirelessly connected to the stock database.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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A laser sensor on the shelf detects when the worker putting together the order has put their hand in a particular container on the shelf, allowing the system to tick off the part stored in that container from the picker's list.

Weighing technology can also be incorporated into the system to allow it to work out how many components have been taken out of each container by seeing if the containers have got lighter by a weight corresponding to the weight of the item.??As well as making sure the order picker takes the right number of parts, the tech can also help monitor stock levels.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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The red block on the screen indicates that the order picker has put their hand in an incorrect part container for the particular item they should have picked.??The system is currently being piloted with German automotive manufacturer Mercedes-Benz at its factory in Mannheim.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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This display looks at how SAP tech could be used to help support greater uptake of electric cars in the near future.

The sat-nav display above is directing a driver to the nearest charging point for their electric vehicle as they enter a town.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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The stand features a couple of different charging points - the one on the right is being used in the US while the one on the left is going to be used by SAP in a trial at its labs in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Shown above is a card which can be used by drivers to pay for charging their cars, by swiping it over a reader on the charging point.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com?

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Another energy-focused demo at CeBIT showed how SAP software could be used to support a home or office energy usage monitoring system, displaying how a household or business' energy usage changes over time and how the cost of energy consumption fluctuates according to the time of day it's used.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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Information on car-charging transactions can also be sent to drivers' sat-navs, including details such as how much electricity has been consumed in a single charge and how much it cost.

Dr Joachim Schaper, VP for SAP Research, told silicon.com that researchers are also looking at how electric cars could form part of a smart electricity grid. For example, if a car is plugged into the power grid at a time of high demand for energy, the electricity stored in the car could be fed back into the grid, before being replenished when demand goes down again.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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Another energy-focused demo at CeBIT showed how SAP software could be used to support a home or office energy usage monitoring system, displaying how a household or business' energy usage changes over time and how the cost of energy consumption fluctuates according to the time of day it's used.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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SAP also staged a demo of QR codes - a form of barcode.

By scanning a code over a reader at one of SAP's stands, users were able to call up more information about SAP software.??Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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Here's a QR code being scanned.

Once scanned, the code brings up the information stored on it on an adjacent screen.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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But the SAP stand wasn't all serious - headphone-maker Skullcandy is one of around 100 businesses to be using SAP's on-demand ERP system, Business ByDesign, as part of the client charter program.

Skullcandy staged a 'silent disco' in which a DJ plays music that can only be heard through headphones. Visitors to the Skullcandy display - complete with glitter ball - could pull down the headsets from above and listen to whatever the DJ was spinning.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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