Most Innovative Introductions at the
Barcelona Mobile World Congress
In case you missed the 2019 Barcelona Mobile World Conference this year, we’ll be recapping the impressive slate of Keynote Speakers, and some of the most innovative gadgets introduced at this year’s show. The Mobile World Congresses are brought to you by GSMA the trade organization that represents the players in the worldwide mobile communications industry.
GSMA Congresses are the place where innovations are celebrated, policy is defined, partnerships are formed, products are launched, and insights are gained. With an initial focus on those insights let’s review an abbreviated list of some the Keynote Speakers and their themes. The list of speakers reads like a “Who’s Who” of tech, but includes dignitaries from other verticals:
- Anjali Sud, CEO, Vimeo
- Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations
- Dieter Zetsche, Chairman, Daimler AB & Mercedes Benz
- Mickey Mikitani, CEO & Chairman, Rakuten
- Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
- Guo Ping, Rotating Chairman, Huawei
- Rich Williams, CEO, Groupon
- Jeff Dean, Senior Fellow, Google
James Forese, President of Citi, spoke about how connected digital innovations are redefining consumer experiences with brands, products, and services, and how the deployment of 5G networks will connect the real and virtual world.
Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, and Simon Segars, CEO, Arm, led a panel consisting of participants from all age groups to illustrate how the “Next Generation” is about people as well as technologies. Future connectivity will expand our relationship with devices as they become an ever more important part of daily life.
Jorg Reimann, CEO, BMW iVentures. Theme: Intelligent Connectivity, The Great Enabler, how physical technology and digital technology will merge to create a truly connected world.
Other themes for panel discussions included: The Art and Science of Reinvention, An Intelligent Future for All, Immersive Content, 5G Are we in Danger of a Digital Divide.
These are some incredibly compelling subjects, discussed by impressive and influential panels. It’s easy to see how partnerships are formed and policy defined with this list of Keynotes.
Of particular note is the alliance of two historically fierce competitors, Mercedes Benz, and BMW, to make next-level automobile technologies widely available.
What You Missed — Smart Phones, Robots, and a 5G Ambulance
No doubt 5g was the overarching theme of this show with exhibitors attempting to outdo one another in terms of what products and services the technology will enable.
Smartphone sales have been declining of late, attributable at least in part to modestly incremental change, more evolutionary than revolutionary. It appears manufacturers have noticed, and innovation is back.
- Samsung’s folding phone, the Galaxy Ford, which can also remotely charge your smartwatch or wireless headphones
- Huawei’s folding Mate X phone, which converts to a tablet
- Energizer’s Power Max P18K, a phone with significantly greater battery capacity, 4–5 times that of a normal cell phone, from Energizer, yes that Energizer
- Nokia 9 PureView, the only phone with five rear cameras
- LG’s V50 ThinQ split-screen flip phone
- TCL enters the fray with their folding phone featuring the “dragon hinge”
- The Nubia Alpha — part phone, part smartwatch
Not to be outdone Microsoft introduced its next-gen, HoloLens 2 augmented reality with the tag line, “the visual computing revolution … at some point, even our PCs and smartphones may only exist virtually…”
BMW previewed its Natural Interaction technology featuring new methods of controlling your car with a combination of voice recognition, AI, and gesture controls. Just imagine, a “Park there” command and no struggling to parallel park.
It seemed everyone wanted to illustrate how robotics will be taking our place, including a life-sized greeter, Sophia, a coffee serving robot, a connected lawn mower, robots playing the and taking a bow to the crowd afterward.
So much for evolution versus revolution in the world of mobile technology and communications. There are new players, new companies, exciting new uses, and applications. It’s intriguing to see the various industries becoming involved. Disruptions are brewing across numerous different verticals. Envision an automotive world where Silicon Valley and next-gen technologies exert more clout than Detroit or Germany. What do you see on the horizon?