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Some 300 high-tech companies from 27 countries gathered in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, for the region’s largest telecommunication and IT exhibition. The aim of the event is to introduce visitors to innovative technology, help them build business contacts and offer them a trip in the future. The country’s President Ilham Aliyev said 2013 marks the Year of Information and Communication Technologies in Azerbaijan with the launch of the first Azeri space satellite. “There are plans to launch a second and a third satellite in the coming years,” he said.Local mobile phone operator Azercell unveiled a smart house controlled by mobile phone. It would come in handy if, for example, you were out of town and needed to let someone into your flat. With this device you can open the door, turn on the heating, the lights and even the coffee machine from your phone. In case of an emergency, your house will send you a text message. “Just imagine, the owner is somewhere on another continent, and he can control his house with his mobile phone. Of course the main advantage is the safety issue. He is informed about everything that happens at his place,” explained Azercell senior specialist, Gunay Mammadi. What the operator doesn’t say is how vulnerable such a centralised, remote system is to hacking.Another concept unveiled at the show was the so-called “medical smartphone”. It measures blood sugar, takes your temperature, keeps an eye on your diet and can even perform an electrocardiogram.“The phone shows you what to do. In just 35 seconds, it will carry out an ECG and send it to a server. You then get the result. If it’s normal, everything is fine. If it’s abnormal, you can call your doctor. All the data is kept on this server, so your doctor can log onto your account and take a look at your electrocardiogram from anywhere in the world,” said Alex Kaplun, chairman of the Israel-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Also on show was an interactive blackboard designed for long...