Written by Martijn Brouns
Martijn Brouns gives a recap of Mobile World Congress and talks about some interesting things that he saw and noticed.
I had the good fortune to be invited by The Hague Tech to join them in the Holland Pavilion at the biggest Mobile Tech event in the world: The WMC. Every year more than 120.000 people travel to Barcelona to get updated about the latest state of mobile technology. Being a broadcast boy myself I thought that the IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam was big, but boy was that image crushed by MWC. In a complex of halls, mobile providers, telephone manufacturers and other Telco giants were showing their strength in how they are shaping our lives. For something that mostly is invisible and moves over frequencies, mobile tech has shaped our world immensely.
Let’s start of with flying cars, yup they are coming. Huawei had a demo model in their stand, a two-person flying taxi. It has all the comfort of a taxi, but works automatically and picks you up on the roof instead of the corner. Are we going fully Jetsons in the next years? Yes, absolutely. These drones on a grid will be available for those who want to avoid rush hours for instance. When…? I will put my money on 2025. First, they will become part of regular Chinese and Arabian city infrastructure. Europe and America will follow.
But in Europe, we will have the automated car. WMC looked more like the Frankfurt Motor Show at certain points. All Telco’s had connected cars in their booths: from Maserati to Bentley, cheap and cheerful wasn’t on the cards with most company’s.
But then there is the BMW booth!!! Where the small and friendly concept Smart stole the hearts of many visitors. Such an electric self-driving city car could easily become the replacement of our current bus lines and taxis. And where most Telco’s become car companies, Range Rover presented their line of Range Rover phones. Very masculine all weatherproof phones. And this brings me to my new love: the customised lifestyle phone. Where all phones are becoming flat surface look-a-likes at the moment, more and more other manufacturers are building their own devices that run on Android. The Range Rover is one of them. I also saw multiple Asian styled kids phones in shapes of animals. My personal favourites, however, were the Hanmac millionaire phones. Handmade by French jewellers and a hit in China. Knowing that an iPhone X will already set you back 1.000 Euro, a golden handmade and customised the Android phone for 2.000 almost seems like a bargain. For those who are interested, I can introduce you and take my handsome commission :)
I am very happy that the industry still considers VR a thing of the future. More gameplay, industrial learning techniques and wearables were demonstrated. Samsung took great pride in taking whole groups of visitors in chair simulated VR-enhanced rides, while spinning others upside down for what I can only think would be useful to do at NASA. VR is so cool and I am still surprised that the youth hasn’t become addicted yet.
OK, now over to the enabler of everything, love was in the air for 5G. Once this frequency will be openly offered by all operators, all bets are off regarding its impact on society. It will be faster with more data coming to our ways in no time. Will we know what hit us? No, absolutely not. When was the last time you tried to watch a Youtube video on 3G, it sucked: almost impossible to load and the image quality is so blocked, that even Lego would be ashamed of it. So if 4G brought us an online video, 5G must bring us….
Yup more video, but also VR multiplayer gameplay, advanced and precise AR and an almost unlimited amount of measuring tools for our advancements in AI and behaviour recognition to understand and control the world around us, Life will never be the same.
So where 5G owned the future awards, this congress was owned by Google for one simple marketing tool: Pin Collecting. While the Google booth was small in comparison to others, They showed off their unlimited power by providing the companies that work on Android with colourful pins for people to collect every day. Resulting in one big scavenger hunt. Google rules us all and somehow we are all happy to follow.
Stay connected and please share your pin collection with me because I am missing a few.
If you wondering why I was invited to MWC please check this Uscoutfor interview with me and Vincent Everts. A special shout-out to everyone at Enterprise Summit & RVO for making this week possible for so many great Dutch companies. Please follow more of my digital adventures on Twitter or Instagram. Also a happy member of Medium