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The night everyone went digital

Robots, a 1400-square-metre game board and a digital sensory room were just some of the many digital experiences 4,000 guests at Industriens Hus were able to enjoy on Culture Night 2016. 
Click on the image and watch the video from Culture Night on Friday, 14 October 2016 when guests of all ages at Industriens Hus programmed computer games, coded a Star Wars robot and flew an F16 like fighter pilots in virtual reality. Video: Ida Lærke Bechtle.

Publiceret: 20.10.2016
Af Karen Witt Olsen mail

On a cold and stormy autumn evening, the Confederation of Danish Industry offered warmth, coffee and digitisation.

At a Culture Night event on Friday, 14 October, Industriens Hus opened its doors to anyone with a culture pass. 4,014 visitors became part of the Let’s Get Digital event.

On Town Hall Square in Copenhagen, another 332 people played one of the world’s oldest computer games on the 1,400-square-metre glass facade of the building while inside visitors were offered guided tours and given the chance to experience a wealth of digital technology.

Kids programming

Visitors were able to try the hearing aid of the future from Oticon, step into one of MT Højgaard’s construction sites using virtual reality and programme their own computer games in the coding workshop provided by Microsoft Denmark and Coding Pirates.

“We want to raise awareness of coding because this is the future for children. Programming and coding is an area that will offer many jobs and if children are sitting around playing on their computers anyway, they may as well create something instead of just being consumers,” said Mathias Rud who is a volunteer for Coding Pirates.

The BB8 Star Wars robot and the Watson supercomputer

Visitors were able to determine who was the best Star Wars pilot and test their intelligence using a supercomputer. IBM had brought along their BB8 Star Wars robot and the Watson computer.

“This stand showcases state-of-the-art technology. Our Watson computer offers cognitive computing and the Star Wars robots demonstrate the Internet of Things,” said Jakob Schuldt-Jensen who is an IT architect with IBM.

The BB8 robots featured in Star Wars were controlled via smartphones, and visitors were able to build their own obstacle courses.

What was special about the Watson computer, on the other hand, was that it almost thinks like a normal human being.

At least compared to standard computers. This is because the computer involves context when it thinks and, like human beings, it sets up a multitude of hypotheses for what may be the best thing to do. It then validates the hypotheses against the context and chooses the best solution.

“I hope people will think about how cool the opportunities offered by current technology can be. And that young people become interested in wanting to go into IT because we really need more IT specialists,” says Jakob Schuldt-Jensen.

Digital sensory room for psychiatry

But digital technology also provides other opportunities. This can be seen in psychiatry, for example, where digital technology is not just applied for purposes of efficiency.

Bjørn Wennerwald, who calls himself a ‘health innovator’, has developed a digital sensory room using sound, images and LED lighting designed to make psychiatric patients relax and de-stress.

“I hope that people tonight will see that psychiatry does not only involve medicine – and that they will see that we are trying to use other tools to help patients. These sensory rooms do not replace staff, of course, but they can complement them,” said Bjørn Wennerwald from Wavecare. 

The sensory room presented at the Culture Night event was set up in a white meeting room in which the walls were lit by LED lighting in pink and pale blue while a flatscreen showed images of branches and trees.

Test subjects had to sit on a dark yellow beanbag with heavy flaps that folded in over them and covered their entire body. Wavecare has also developed sensory maternity wards at Nordsjællands Hospital that they now sell in China.

See also: Ten places to get help with digitisation

We want to raise awareness of coding because this is the future for children.

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PUBLISHED: 10/20/2016 LAST MODIFIED: 4/15/2017