MWC 2017 just ended. Mark Zuckerberg did not show up in Barcelona this year, nonetheless attendance still increased to 109,000 from 101,000 in the previous year. Fresh from the Spanish Catalan City, our team have shared 10 highlights of the conference.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality– All brands have embraced and started pushing for VR and AR. Some have focused too much on the product’s wow factor and not enough focus has been put on its practical uses. Experiencing an 8K resolution, 360-degree live streaming video over a 5G network left us dazed.
Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud – Artificial Intelligence is going mainstream like never before. Intelligent virtual assistants, intelligent cars, intelligent web browsers and more. Everything has AI incorporated nowadays. Use of behavioral analytics allows machines to learn unsupervised, and most of the analytics is done in the cloud rather than on the device. We enjoyed the first thinking AI structure at IBM’s stand via their Watson.
5G – Probably the biggest highlight of the whole show. All major companies are pushing for a common front on this – as 5G is so much more than a faster 4G network. Whilst the hype is overwhelming, the industry has a lot of work ahead of it until a 5G network is globally available and used. We enjoyed how the Nokia CEO explained why 5G is needed using monster trucks, yes that’s not a typo, monster trucks.
Nokia 3310 – The celebrated indestructible phone is back, and we played Snake again!This highlight should have been focused on Smartphones, and there were some big launches of smartphones too at MWC. These new smartphones consisted of the LG G6, Sony XZ Premium, and Huawei P10 to name a few. Sadly, Samsung did not launch the Galaxy S8. Of all vendors, Huawei seemed to be the most aggressively advertised, in an attempt to capture market share from Samsung and Apple. Also, Blackberry are back! But the 3310 and its back-to-the-future battery life stole the limelight.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I recently found my Nokia 3310 which I thought I lost 3 years ago, with 2 bars left!
IoT – Internet of Things – Connecting everyone and everything. This was the second biggest buzzword after 5G. Most prominently, lots of stands featured connected cars. We particularly liked the connected Ford Mustang showcased by SAP and the driverless, cloud connected, Peugeot concept car.
Smart cities – We talk a lot about 5G, IoT, AI and VR, but it was great to see that vendors are moving ahead from just the wow factor and planning to use these technologies in our cities, in our everyday lives – with particular attention to sustainability and the conservation of nature around our cities.
Robots – Some are very human-like in their shape – others aren’t – both in the industry and in our households – are becoming smarter than ever. And with IoT – they are connected to everything around them which takes all this to a new dimension. Check out one of the robots here: MWC
Smart Glasses – Soon, most of us will be replacing their smartphones, and even their monitors, with glasses that look exactly the same as present day normal glasses, but contain augmented reality, phone capabilities and screen interaction. Are you ready for this upgrade? We’re not 100% sure we’re ready ourselves, but had a great time trying out the Samsung Monitorless anyway.
4YFN – 4 Years From Now – Featuring 500 digital startups in 1 hall in a different location than the 8 main MWC halls. You could see the excitement on each of the young entrepreneurs’ faces. So many fascinating ideas, and a great bed for further innovation. This was one of the best parts of MWC, away from the huge, overwhelming stands of the renowned brands.
Virtual Assistants and Chatbots – VAs and CBs are on the rise and we like them. Google Assistant (Alphabet), Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft), and Alexa (Amazon) were joined by Huawei, LG, Sony and Samsung devices. CBs are impressively very “human”. They offer exceptional human-like conversations that can be used for support along other major uses. We managed to have a long conversation with one of them and it was one of the best conversations we had at MWC. We’re sorry humans.
Virtual assistants aside, we really had a great time meeting many of you at MWC 2017. We’ll be in touch. We’re already looking forward to Mobile World Congress 2018. #MWC17