Viva Technology 2018

The 3rd edition of Viva Technology 2018, the world’s rendez-vous for start-ups and leaders of innovation and technology took place between 24-26 May at Porte de Versaille, Paris. The first two days were dedicated to professionals and the last day was open to the public. VivaTech, co-organised by Publicis Groupe and Groupe Les Echos, is designed to help global leaders, disruptors and tech pioneers to discover the best innovations, explore the future trends and be inspired by the most disruptive ideas. This year there were around 80.000 attendees and 8.000 start-ups from 103 countries. Leaders of different industrial sectors like energy, automotive, telecoms, luxury and mobile had 23 open innovation labs where they demonstrated their expertise in digital transformation and invited the start-ups to share their new solutions and to build new partnerships.

As MBA students in “Digital Marketing and Business” at Efap, we were invited to attend this major digital event in Europe as social media reporters of Microsoft. During these two intensive days, I tried to participate as much as possible to the conferences, pitches, visit the stands and watch the demonstrations, however the time was not enough. For the ones who couldn’t visit this year, I would like to share with you some highlights from VivaTech 2018 but for next year I recommend you not to miss this major digital event in the future of technology and innovation.

The 3rd edition of Viva Technology was inaugurated by the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron on 24th of May. Hopefully I had entered the conference hall 1 hour before to have the chance to listen to him. Emmanuel Macron mentioned in his speech that France had invested around 2,5 billion euro in start-ups and VivaTech was a key for the growing of international influence of this ecosystem. He gave a special message to Africa and announced that France is going to invest some public money in the most promising African startups. Macron then defended France’s project to create a European tax on big tech companies. He said that he believes in AI and data, but we must build a smart regulation. “What is at stake is how we build a European model reconciling innovation and common good,” he said. “We have to work together to build this common framework.” He finished his speech by saying that the Tech for Good Summit should become an annual initiative and Tech CEOs will be invited next year to the Élysée before VivaTech.

During these two days there were very important conferences given by the CEOs or chairmans of some big companies like Satya Nadella from Microsoft, Marc Zuckerberg from Facebook, Bernard Arnault from LVMH, Eric Shmidt from Alphabet Inc., Mounir Mahjoubi Secretary of State for Digital.

This year the biggest trends of VivaTech were Afric@tech, Tech for Good, Mobility, Future of Work, Smarter Places, Future of Marketing & Advertising, Voice & AI, Future of Retail & e-commerce and Tech for Human. Of course I can’t share all these topics with you in my article but you can find some interesting examples that took my attention.

Future of Mobility

Pop Up Next Flying car, an electric driver-less autonomous vehicle developed by Airbus, Audi and Italdesign, took the most attention during VivaTech  as an example of future of personal air mobility. Designed to relieve traffic congestion in crowded megacities, Pop Up imagines a modular system for multi-modal transportation that makes use of both ground and air space.

With The Bubble taxi, French start-up SeaBubbles makes use of the forgotten and underestimated waterways to transform urban mobility. Zero wave – Zero noise – Zero CO2 emission and 100% electric, the Bubble is autonomous during its rides and is charging while people are getting in and out, while stationed at the Dock. The bubble will be ready for pre-orders starting from July.


At the entrance of VivaTech 2018, the famous robot of Softbank Robotics “Pepper” welcomes you. I am sure everyone who visited VivaTech has minimum one photo with this cute robot Pepper. We see more of them at different stands with different usage areas. Pepper can recognize your face, speak and hear you, move around autonomously and even dance! It has been designed to identify your emotions and to select the behavior best suited to the situation. Pepper and Nao are already deployed in more than 2000 public places to help to welcome, give information, interact with visitors in shops, banks, hotels, airports etc.

Le Groupe La Poste also demonstrated a delivery robot which follows the postman from a 1m distance and is able to carry up to 150 kg.

Can you imagine a pizzeria where your pizza is made and delivered just with robots? Yes, during VivaTech, at the discovery area sponsored by EDF, EKIM a French food tech start-up demonstrated their 100% autonomous pizza restaurant called PAZZI. From order to delivery everything is done by robots. If you want to try the pizzas made by robots, the first PAZZI restaurant will open in Paris by the end of 2018.

Digital art exhibition « Artistes et Robots » (Artists and robots) currently shown at the Grand Palais had a special booth in Vivatech to show Miguel Chevalier’s piece of digital art called “Fractal Flowers”. You can see the original of this exposition at the Grand Palais utill 9th of July.

Store Digitalisation

Klépierre, a pan-European leader in shopping malls, invited visitors to test its innovations for the shopping malls of the future, showing different steps of customers journey such as “Shop”, “Meet” and “Connect”.

Sweet Fit” which is a virtual fitting room, in partnership with Uniqlo, 1.2.3 and Etam was one of the most popular applications in the stand. With the help of Microsoft’s Kinnect camera, this solution makes it possible to visualize how new clothes fit in a fun way without having to try them on. Of course, I also made some trials for you!

While talking about VivaTech, we cannot skip L’oreal’s new digital beauty experiences. For example, a smart mirror experience which allow visitors to virtually try on makeup and find makeup looks based on their outfit or a virtual hair color try-on technology based on 3D artificial intelligence that enhances the conversation between hairdressers and consumers for a better salon experience.

3D Printing

At VivaTech we could see different examples of 3D Printing from candies to music instruments or large sized figures. At the stand of ARKEMA, Sartomer, global leader in UV curable engineered resins for 3D printing, showcased open innovation together with their partner Massivit 3D and its unique 3D printing super-size technology used to print “Corto Maltese”. Like everyone I also made a selfie with this giant 3Dprinted figure.

A very good example of 3D printing technology was the showcase of 3Dvarius which is an electric violin created by 3D printing technology and based on the model of a real Stradivarius violin.

As I told you, it’s so hard to summarize all what I experienced during these 2 days full of innovation. There are many other topics that I couldn’t mention here. So, I advise you to read the full report of Viva Technology 2018 prepared by the HUB Institute, in order not to miss anything about this event.

HUBREPORT – Viva Technology 2018

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