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Mobile World Congress – bringing enterprise technology to the consumer

Once again, thousands descended on Barcelona this week for the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC). Mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, analysts, integrators and of course journalists flew in across the world gathered to show off their wares, discuss the hottest mobile trends and argue about which products will have the biggest impact.

We had numerous clients exhibiting at MWC this year and we were on the ground to support with their media and influencer programs. VMware was one of those, with 65 1-2-1 press and analyst interviews  taking place on site and over 50 influencers attending its dedicated press conference – hosted by CEO, Pat Gelsinger, on Wednesday morning.

What’s going to be big in 2017?

This year, despite the revamped Nokia 3110 grabbing most of the headlines, some of the biggest stories were connected devices, virtual reality and trying to prove real use cases of 5G. Over 108,000 attendees across 208 countries were given the opportunity to explore and immerse themselves in some of the most cutting edge mobile technology on the planet.

So what captured our attention?

One of the stand-out pieces of technology we saw across the four days was a cognitive dress by IBM Watson. It used Internet of Things (IoT) technology and numerous sensors that track your emotion based on your Twitter feed content, and changed the colour of the dress accordingly. For example, if you were feeling particularly angry that day, and posted on Twitter, your dress would turn a bright red!

mwc-dress

Elsewhere, SAP’s stand featured its latest innovations around connected stadiums and cars while Samsung demonstrated its virtual reality gaming devices with live demos for people to test out for themselves…if they braved the queue!

No tech event in 2017 is going to be complete without robots, and they were out in force in Barcelona. Some, like Ubuntu’s, were adult size and able to interact with humans. Others were smaller and designed to perform specific tasks, like intricate surgical procedures.

Impact on consumers

mwc-trends

Historically, MWC has been driven by consumer technology with the latest mobile devices and tablets taking centre stage. Nokia 3310 aside, it was a pleasant surprise to see a balance of enterprise and consumer technology innovations this year. From a consumer perspective, here’s what Ericsson outlined as its top 10 consumer trends for 2017:

  1. AI everywhere
  2. Setting the pace for Internet of Things
  3. Pedestrian drive autonomous cars
  4. Merged reality
  5. Bodies out of sync
  6. The smart device safety paradox
  7. Social silos
  8. Augmented personal reality
  9. The privacy divide
  10. Big tech for all

… and they seem pretty spot on based on what I saw on the ground. Many of these also chime well with what our panel of journalists highlighted as their key trends in our Tech Trends event at the start of the year.

What was clear from my experience in Barcelona was the speed of evolution – even on a year ago – and the significant impact it’s having on our everyday lives. Getting to see so many innovations at an early stage is exciting, and I can’t wait to see which ones become mainstream over the next few years.

From Nikhol in our Tech team