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Future is now for gadget fans at technology event

Controller-free games console and 3D TV among Gitex gizmos.

DUBAI // The first 3D consumer camcorder, largest 3D plasma television and the latest generation of Microsoft's mobile operating system are among new technologies that will be previewed at the Gitex technology conference next week. 

The five-day event starts at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Sunday and will also focus on trends in cloud computing for sharing software and information within businesses.

Hewlett-Packard will debut its e-mail-enabled ePrint platform, while Microsoft showcases its Lync server which integrates voice, video and web conferencing with desktop sharing. "In the commercial space, investing in new forms of [information technology] is very much a priority, and we see the need for a more efficient and unified way to communicate within a company," said Charbel Fakhoury, regional general manager of Microsoft Gulf.

Microsoft will preview its Windows Phone 7, which was unveiled in New York this week. The company will also exhibit Kinect, its yet-to-be-released controller-free gaming console for Xbox 360. Panasonic will roll out its 152-inch 3D plasma home theatre, the largest in the world. The company will also feature the first consumer camcorder capable of shooting video in 3D, and visitors can sample high-end, industry-tailored equipment such as video technology used in hospitals.

Gitex, which celebrates its 30th anniversary, will also host a Global Leaders Summit that will include a keynote address from Randi Zuckerberg, official spokeswoman for Facebook and sister of the website's creator, Mark Zuckerberg. The showcase event has drawn more than 3,500 exhibiting companies, and Helal Saeed Almarri, the chief executive officer of Dubai World Trade Centre and the event's organiser, said he expects the conference to attract more than 130,000 visitors.

"Many IT and technology companies, as well as people from major corporations, are often first visiting Dubai for the first time when they come to Gitex," he said. "I believe the event itself shows we are an industry leader and can be a major driver in bringing companies to the region." Product previews of consumer electronics are free and open to the general public from Tuesday to October 21. Tickets for access to the rest of the event are available only to trade and business visitors, priced at Dh60, or Dh120 for the week.

A shopping outpost for consumer electronics will be set up at the Airport Expo, which can be accessed from the World Trade Centre on the city's Metro. econroy@thenational.ae

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