Many people commented that MWC was basically over after Samsung launched their devices and Mark Zuckerberg did his keynote. But for the team at DMI it was only the end of the beginning and we’ve continued to dig deeper across the enormous halls for interesting news.
Mobile Advertising 2.0 The app planet wasn’t really an app planet anymore but rather, the ‘mobile advertising’ hall. Our prediction about mobile advertising consolidation seemed slightly lost among the vast amount of companies in this space. Both Google and Facebook were missing among the exhibitors but their presence was felt with the amount of companies partnering with them. Here are just a few of the interesting companies we met with:
- Fiksu – Top providers for optimisation of app download advertising across publishers / ad networks
- AdBrain – Tool provider for mobile advertising buying, managing and optimisation across ad networks
- TAPCommerce – Engagement and retargeting advertising related to mobile apps with social network integration
- MobileAppTracking – Platform for app marketers to attribute app installs, in-app engagement and purchase back to ad partners
- Airpush – High performance, exceptional ad formats and targeting technology
What do we think?
Mobile banner ad formats are still alive and kicking but the industry is changing faster and faster, with innovation coming from only a small proportion of new startups. The traditional media companies are historically slow to try new things, so brands need to allocate a proportion of their budgets to testing and driving innovation. We’ve seen some very fast results for brands and apps in terms of ROI.
Who would think a semiconductor company could be cool? We briefly mentioned Nordic Semiconductor in the report from day 2 but today we dug deeper. Nordic Semiconductor actually powers many of the wearable devices demonstrated at MWC including:
- Kontakt ( http://kontakt.io) demonstrating a beacon
- Blue Maestro ( http://www.bluemaestro.com) showing the Tempo Smart Temperature Sensor, that logs temperature in its memory which users can access from their mobiles
- Mio ( http://www.mioglobal.com) showing the Mio Link, a heart rate monitor in a wristband that transmits data via ANT+ and Bluetooth
- Matilde ( http://ma-tilde.com) demonstrating Bluetooth Smart “Glasses” communicating with a smartphone
- Moff ( http://www.moff.mobi) demonstrating an interactive toy with sound & voice effects using its own app
- Adidas miCoach ( micoach.adidas.com) demonstrating the first devices to provide athletes with a complete training system
- GN ReSound ( http://www.gnresound.com) showing the world’s first iPhone hearing aid offering direct, stereo sound streaming from Apple’s mobile products
- Dayton ( http://www.dayton.com.hk) exhibiting Bluetooth low energy heart rate monitor, bike combo sensor, key fob, and portable control display device
- National ( http://www.national.com.hk) demonstrating smart wrist-wearable GPS, smart optical heart rate, smart analog watch and smart gear
- Airfy ( http://www.airfy.com) demonstrating Bluetooth low energy beacons and Wi-Fi technology with a focus for retail applications.
- FItbit (http://www.fitbit.com) probably the most talked about wearable at MWC after the Samsung Gear device
What do we think?Innovation in connected devices is happening faster than we ever imagined. Be on the lookout for more gadgets and toys for geeks as well as some very useful devices for health and fitness. Brands could look for interesting partnership opportunities to test, learn and earn some PR brownie points.
Finally some of the other highlights from our tour today:
- We visited LifeWatch V who developed a smartphone that monitors almost every health metric imaginable
- iPacify from a British startup is a smart pacifier that contains a temperature sensor in the teat to combine thermometer and binkie, recording your baby’s temperature on a smartphone app
- Expertmaker is an Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Insights startup powering product search and news for companies such as eBay and Vodafone
- Lowdown is an app that automatically pulls together relevant e-mails and contact details for people attending the meeting, and even tells you how to get there with detailed transport directions.
- Quixey is the startup that no one ever heard of that just raised $50m to disrupt the app search market
And some more device announcements:
- Ibis by Creoir Ltd in Finland is a beautiful smart watch referring to itself as “smart jewellery” rather than a smartwatch.
- BlackBerry anounced the Z3 and BlackBerry Q20, two devices tapering to bring the company back to its roots
- Motorola announced the launch of a smartwatch in development running Tizen, an OS that Samsung also chose for the Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatches
Tomorrow is the final day of MWC ’14, but we still have time to visit innovative startups, so please send us your tips and suggestions for anything you would like us to review.