Visiting INVEX - the 14th annual international fair of information and communication technology

Invex, photo: CTK

The 14th annual international fair of information and communication technology is taking place in Brno this week. The INVEX fair brings leading Czech and international firms in the technology and multimedia industry together to exhibit the finest products and service that their industry has to offer. Martin Hrobsky attended the fair and filed this report.

Invex,  photo: CTK
In the multimedia pavilion I found Leda, one of the leading Czech producers of English and Czech dictionaries. I asked Frantisek Cunderlik what his company has produced recently in terms of multimedia and computer-based dictionaries.

He went on to describe the latest computer-based dictionary that is aimed at translators and businesses that often translate between Czech and English. The dictionary is so complex that it can easily translate whole sentences at a time. For more beginner students of the English language, Lukas Nagy explained to me the latest in multimedia conversational software.

"It is called Talk to Me, it is a conversational programme primarily so that there are dialogues, you can train your pronunciation on whatever phrase you pick and then there are five types of exercises. As for the order of activities it really depends on the user but I really think it's best to start with the dialogue. There are fifteen lessons each based on dialogues, so let's have a look."

Computer: "We're just back from a hard day's work? What are you doing tonight?"

"So this is what the dialogues look like: up here we have an introductory phrase and here the computer offers three possible ways of reacting to the first sentence. Whatever phrase I pick I just read it into the microphone and it only depends on my pronunciation. If the computer understands, it goes on. For example:

We're going out this evening..."

Computer: "That's nice."

What kind of people would you expect would use something like this?

"Well, for one, people who like working with computers who don't like exercise books, this is more comfortable. You don't have to the same thing all the time, there a lot of types of exercises that are different in structure and focus."

One of the main goals of the INVEX fair is to bring together Czech and international firms together. One of these international firms is Armor, a leading producer of ink cartridges for personal and professional use. The company has its headquarters in France but it is also established on the Czech market. I spoke to the company's director here in the Czech Republic, Michal Med, and asked him how well positioned his company is on the European market and if the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union, which happened earlier this year, will help his company expand in the region.

"Our market research for Central and Eastern Europe has been less precise but our speculation is that we generally finish among the first three leaders on the market. Expansion to the European Union has primarily helped us expand into countries like Slovakia, and Hungary and Romania, thanks to no longer existing market borders."