Final Recap: Mobile World Congress 2015

Last week the Lab crossed the Atlantic Ocean to attend the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to our daily recaps for Day one, two, and three, we are now proud to present a final recap to cover everything you need to know about the event and highlight our favorites among the 2,000 exhibiting companies.

Download the Final Recap for MWC 2015 here.

Event Recap: Mobile World Congress, Day 3

Today is the last day of Mobile World Congress and despite the madness of 90,000+ attendees, 18,000+ exhibitors, and one massive taxi line, IPG Media Lab scoured the event one last time to find a few hidden gems. (In case you missed it, catch up on Day 1 and Day 2 coverage.)

EVA, an AI virtual assistant, combines facial coding and emotion tracking technology to provide personalized information and recommendations.
MWC2015 Huawei CarFi
Huawei CarFi turns your car’s 12 volt power outlet into a 4G LTE hotspot.
MWC2015 Heat Vac
This Chinese company showed us their unique process of molding and designing aftermarket phone cases using a heat vac.
SK Telecom showcased a 5G-connected robot mirroring human movement without latency thanks to the use of a sensor-emitting exoskeleton.
MWC2015 Korea Telecom
Korea Telecom demonstrated their personalized digital signage ads based on user affinities. Mobile users opt-in by setting their preferences through an app, and the ads are served through LTE.
HZO was running TVs and computers with electronic chips that were submerged in water.
MWC2015 SlimPort
SlimPort demonstrated their gaming port, which enables gamers to move the mobile gaming experience to the 1st screen (in 4K with latency!)
Good bye from Barcelona!

Thanks for following our coverage from Mobile World Congress! Look for a recap from the Lab coming soon.


Event Recap: Mobile World Congress, Day 2

The IPG Media Lab is covering MWC 2015; check out our recap of Day 1.
Virtual Reality and Gaming
One of the most surprising announcements at MWC15 was the HTC Vive VR headset. While the exact technical specs and pricing are still a bit of a mystery, HTC’s rationale to partner with Valve is not. Today, we visited with Jeff Gattis, HTC’s executive marketing director, to get his take on the partnership. According to Gattis, it all comes down to credibility and community—specifically, the credibility Valve has earned in building their Steam VR platform and the community of over 110MM users. With a great VR standard, a solid network of content developers, and a massive global audience, The HTC Vive is well-positioned to be the first widely adopted VR headset.
Global Representation
One of our favorite activities at Mobile World has been scoping out the various country pavilions—it’s a start up EPCOT, and we love the ingenuity on display. While Germany, France, and host country Spain all had solid showings, Norway stole the show, particularly companies like:
  • Elliptic Labs: Gesture-based control for the smartphone.
  • Thinfilm: Print-based approach to electronics brings digital interactivity (through NFC) to physical objects.
  • Nordic Semiconducters: Chipsets that power proximity marketing solutions like BLE beacons from well-know providers like as Estimote, and Roximity. Their nRF51 series chipset also powers products like smart lights, wireless keyboards, and the Adidas FIT SMART wristband tracker.
5G Connecting the Future
The promise of 5G—a new wireless network standard that is expected be implemented by 2020—is of course more bandwidth (faster speeds) and lower latency (gamers rejoice). A few of the reasons why we’re excited about 5G is because this new standard has the ability to power new experiences such streaming VR, self-driving cars, and a plethora of connected devices, which are expected to number upwards of 50B by 2020. Companies demoing 5G inspired experiences at MWC15 include Ericsson with Volvo and Telstra, Huawei & Japanese mobile service provider NTT Docomo, and Alerta & China Mobile.

Event Recap: Mobile World Congress, Day 1

Live from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, it’s the IPG Media Lab! We’re on the ground covering the latest news from the conference. As expected, the major consumer electronic players are very well represented at MWC:

  • Samsung looks to have the next big hit on its hands with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. It supports wireless charging (Qi and PMA), a payments platform, and perhaps the fastest camera ever included in a smartphone to date.
  • LG’s new Urbane LTE smart watch may be the best-looking smart watch we’ve seen. However, this designation might be short-lived, as Apple’s March 9th event is quickly approaching.
  • China’s Huawei (pronounced “Wah-Way”) is continuing the momentum they captured at CES earlier this year; their exhibitor area has been well attended and their new smart watch has garnered a lot of praise.

We’ve also uncovered several notable themes at this year’s MWC:

Open Source

Across multiple categories and sectors, the term “open source” was bandied about, particularly in relation to:

  • Alliances increasing adoption rates: The Allseen Alliance (backed by Qualcomm and partners) and the Open Interconnect Consortium (backed by Intel and partners) will simplify the market and allow IoT providers to build robust product suites that consumers can confidently invest in.
  • Platform validation: Ford’s Smart Device Link is an open platform for developing new in-car experiences for the infotainment system. They’re hoping third-party app developers can create “sticky” experiences, especially in markets like China where new car sales are exploding.
  • Creating needed competition: Cyanogen, the company behind the Android-based open source mobile OS, has recently partnered with Qualcomm, increasing compatibility to over 200 devices. Cyanogen may even try and launch their own app store.

New Interfaces

Another theme we noticed today at Mobile World Congress was the rise of new interfaces. Whether they manifest as sensors, wearables or devices, these new peripherals have the potential to change how we interact with the world around us:

  • ProGlove: This enterprise-focused wearable is a sensor-based “smart glove” that helps manufacturers boost performance by leveraging Intel’s sense technology to help employees visualize difficult task.
  • Yubi Navi: A Nintendo Wii-like device that guides people to their destination with subtle tactile cues.
  • SOSO Brainno: This prototype EEG wearable analyzes a user’s emotions, heart rate, and temperature. The goal is for it to be embedded into VR headsets so it can adapt to a user’s environment and their emotional state in real-time.

Today’s coverage was just the beginning; check back tomorrow for more updates from MWC.

Header image courtesy of MWC.