While everyone else gives you the latest news from MWC in Barcelona, we give you insights on the things you must see if you are at the conference or read about if you’re not.
This year we split up the tour in two areas:
a) the big ticket and ‘wow’ items that you can see yourself, and
b) companies and new technologies that solve real problems for consumers and companies where we take you for an insider demo.
Many of the key trends at MWC also align with our mobile trends report for winners in 2016, but some of the items are more specific to the telecom industry and what’s newsworthy including 5G, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality and new device launches.
Here’s the tour of the things you have to see:
Devices (mostly hall 3)
- Samsung – Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge evolving with better battery life and many other big enhancements
- LG – G5 with slideout battery and modules, LG 360 VR and Remote Control Robot
- Huawei – 12 Inch Matebook tablet with Windows 10
- Xiaomi Mi5 – because it’s predecessors have taken the Chinese market by storm
- HP – Elite x3 Windows 10 tablet
- Sony Xperia XA and A – because Sony still makes great devices
- HTC Vive – will HTC make a come-back?
- Lenovo – low end with cheap Vibe K5 phones and Tab3 tablets
- Nokia Ozo VR – VR camera with starting price of $60,000 with professional models being even more expensive
Drone Zone by Intel
Intel showcases how advanced drones have become in terms of movement, sensors, cameras, speed and avoiding obstacles. Yes, it’s pretty cool!
Wearable Zone (between Hall 4 and 5)
For the first time you can see the non-traditional smartwatch manufacturers such as Guess, Mykronoz and Sequel. But of course also Garmin, Fitbit and others. We especially liked Guess because the smartwatch is hidden in a nicely designed normal watch. For more wearables, visit Samsung, Huawei, Sony, LG and other device manufacturers.
Virtual Reality (and Augmented Reality)
Check out Samsung’s latest Gear VR (powered by Oculus), Oculus Rift (in the Innovation City), Microsoft HoloLense (which you can only see through a glass window unless you are a special customer) and Epson BT-300 for enterprise use cases.
Innovation City (hall 3)
This has always been a hub for showing what the future holds for cities and transportation, but this year it has lost its edge compared to a lot of the other exhibitors. Nevertheless, this is what you can see and experience:
- Interactive airliner/flight simulator virtual reality experience.
- Virtual duty free shopping including pay and collect (which we don’t think is a better experience)
- Logistical zone showing how luggage and goods are tracked around the world
- Agriculture zone to see how mobility is helping farmers track herd movements and crops maturing
- Transport zone with connected cars and how you can track a bicycle – even underground
Ericsson and 5G (hall 2)
Learn everything about a mobile network in their massive hall on one of the tours and get some insights to the progress of the 5G standard. Book separately online or go to their hall and ask.
The DMI MWC Tour
This year we skipped Hall 1 to 3 and went straight to the smaller exhibitors in halls 5 to 8.1 and 4YFN. Here are some of the exciting things we checked out:
- Movilook – Digital signage interacting with the mobile user
- Bismart – Predictive analytics and recommendations based on big data
- Ivy Health – Just launching with three new connected devices for healthcare including blood pressure monitor and weight scale
- Bullitt Group – For a wide range of phones made for field workers that can replace more specialized instruments
- Telit – one of the leading IoT hardware and service providers in the world and a close partner to DMI (we help control, analyze and make sense of the devices and all the data collected). Lots of great live examples of IoT in manufacturing and transportation.
- Anagog – one of the coolest companies at MWC with software that provides your app with data from all the sensors on the phone with a free SDK
- PetPace – sensors/collar for dogs to monitor health and fitness
- SleepRate – sleep tracking device and platform (example of niche wearables)
- Fibaro – smart sensors for the home including motion, smoke, water, etc.
- MasterCard – payment SDK for merchants’ loyalty programs, relieving the merchant from having a card payment system and register of their own
Visa – Adding authentication tokens to new items (cars, wearables, …), enabling e.g. your car to pay for gas or food at a drive-in. Barclays, in collaboration with VISA, is creating contactless wearable products to help bridge the gap for people who do not have a contactless card (approx. 50% of the population in the UK). If you don’t want a Barclays branded device, there are payment-enabled wearables created through partnerships (e.g. fashion accessories from Topshop as well as a connected jacket from Lyle & Scott).
- Splice Software – personalized voice messages
- Meontrust – MePIN solves strong customer authentication for consumer services and payments and especially interesting for banks
- HTC – one of many examples of this year’s VR trend, but a good option for people who want to try it out
- STMicroelectronics – connected cities and office complexes on display
- Microblink – next generation of mobile OCR powering enterprise and consumer apps
- Apptimize – pre-launching new apps and doing A/B testing
- CartoDB – geospatial context for business data
- Appsflyer – mobile advertising analytics platform to optimize performance
- Liftoff – app install acquisition and retargeting of customers with
potential to transact
- Mediamath – predictive analytics for retail and marketing
- ComfyLight – spinoff from Bosch IoT Lab that provides a sensor in a light bulb with lots of exciting use cases
- Semseye – retail footfall and shopping behavior tracking and analytics
- Estimote – check out the latest beacons and sensors
- Multipass – future payments for transportation and access control combining wearables and cloud
- Singular Factoring – fintech company innovating invoice and supplier management
And please keep your tips coming about the best problem solving companies at MWC. Here are some of the things we’ve been looking for:
- Retail – footfall, analysis, helping customers, virtual changing rooms, digital signage, abandoned eCommerce baskets and payments
- Transportation and logistics – fleet management and monitoring, predictive maintenance, safety, tracking of things (RFID, NFC and Telematics)
- Healthcare – using data and mobile technology to provide better care and make us healthier (not just wearables counting steps, distance and sleep which we give up on)
- Productivity – services and software that make individuals and companies more productive and efficient
- Enhanced customer service and support – future of communication with customers using avatars, chat, video, etc.
- Security – how to make mobile services safer for the consumer (e.g. double authentication)
And this is not the end. We will continue to provide insights and news from MWC for 2 more days and a summary from the show about everything you need to know.
From the floor of Mobile World Congress. 24 km (15 miles) and counting…
/The DMI Team