Back from my 10th visit to electronica since I joined Wildfire, I am happy to confirm the format still works. It’s still far too big, but the app really worked for me and made it far more accessible this year.
It still includes more stands than anyone could possibly want to visit but for me that simply drew more attention to those that really matter. It’s in a good place too, and Munich has grown to accommodate the influx of visitors and exhibitors much better, although the U-bahn in still gets terribly crowded first thing.
At its heart, electronica is still the best place to view the essence of electronics in Europe. Automotive, robots, displays and process automation are everywhere and there are some nice little examples on show again this year.
Just to prove I was present, here’s a video I shot — including a slow-mo sequence — of the Sub1 robot on Infineon’s stand solving a Rubik cube in under one second. 35 years ago I could do that in about half a minute so although it’s impressive I think the mechanics of Sub1 impressed me more than the actual processing task and the record it broke (sorry Infineon).
Elsewhere we saw Panasonic’s exo-skeleton being demonstrated live on the stand with the crowd, which filled the corner of the hall — and yes, I have video clip of that too.
And a mention for RS and its authentic Robot Clash feature — nicely done and a bit of very accessible fun.
Fun things aside I took time to sit in on one automotive, one IoT and one embedded conference session too and I either picked well or the quality of the content was better than I’d usually expect. I actually learned something new at each of them.
Overall I got the feeling that in spite of all the M&A activity in the industry, the regular exhibitors are still doing their best to maintain their electronica presence and some of the stands this year were not just big, but impressive too and obviously intended to underpin supplier-customer relationships rather than attract new business.
I expect I’ll be there again in 2018.
Photo credit @MrShephard