By Laia Cardona, on 23 February 2016
Monday the 22nd of February 2016 was the key day for the take off of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), with some inconvenience due to the public transportation strikes in Barcelona but nevertheless off to a smooth start as expected. National and international manufacturers, operators and entrepreneurs gather in the city of Barcelona until Thursday the 25th for the mobile world Congress.
Like every year, the star products of the MWC are the new releases that big brands such as Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG or Huawei unveil at this event, seeking to innovate in design, benefits, hardware and speed. Other technological leaps, such as the remote eSIM, the Internet of Things and the ultrafast 5G wifi networks, have also been made in the meantime. As we have stressed in previous articles, the smartphone has come to rule, and is here to stay. It is currently the device most commonly used to access the internet, and should be ready to receive a large amount of data at a fast speed.
“Thinner, more powerful and with a better camera, the smartphone industry repeats this pattern with every innovation."
The Mobile World Congress is not only smartphones, however. A large amount of companies have also presented their newest creations relating to the mobile sector, from applications, technical solutions for marketing and online advertising optimization, wearables, programs and, of course, the famous social networks.
10 novelties of the Mobile World Congress 2016
To best sum up what is standing out most this year at the MWC, here are the 10 most important novelties of the Mobile World Congress 2016 that anyone there could not overlook:
- 1# Mark Zuckerberg’s Keynote Speech: At 6pm on Monday the 22nd of February, the CEO of social network Facebook unveiled his plan to connect with humanity. According to him, “everyone in the world deserves to have Internet access and I don’t understand how it’s 2016 and we haven’t achieved that yet”. Zuckerberg confirmed that he wants to help everyone in the world to be able to express themselves about what they are interested in. “Going back about 10 years, most of what we shared and experienced was text, and then it was photos, and now we’re entering into a world where that’s video. But pretty soon, we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes, as if you’re just there, right there in person”, he said, in support of the concept of 360º immersion video. The founder of Facebook spoke of several other projects he is working on, such as Aquila, his solar-powered drone program, and how Artificial Intelligence can simplify our lives, with anything from a virtual home assistant, to a program capable of detecting skin cancer with one simple image.
- 2# Epson’s Augmented Reality Smart Glasses: With a professional goal, Epson wants to surprise us with its hyper reality lenses. This company launched wearables in 2011, and has presented its 3rd generation of smartglasses, a technology brought into fashion by search engine Google. The Moverio BT-300 glasses will be available on the market starting October for 800€ and weigh 72% less than Epson’s first generation smartglasses. The device allows for a feeling of depth, special positioning and creates virtual surroundings which can even be mistaken for the real thing, thanks to its OLED silicone screen (organic light-emitting diode).
- 3# Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge (with curved screen): Eagerly awaited phones by tech-fans. This week all the attendees of the Mobile World Congress will have the chance to touch and try the new edition smartphone from the Korean brand Samsung. The release was a success, and although externally it does not look very different to its predecessor, the S6, on the inside it has taken into account all the users’ demands for innovation: a more powerful camera, longer-lasting battery and a water, dust and crack-proof shell.
- 4# Google wants to revive enriched SMS messaging: Google and severa ¡l other operators all over the world have agreed to speedup the availability of enriched Calling RCS (Rich Communication Services), which is making its way to becoming the successor of the all but obsolete SMS Messaging. It would come to be the Whatsapp of operators.
- 5# Lewis Hamilton’s “Use of the smartphone in the automotive industry” Conference: The truth is that the star of this speech is not a great telecommunications or mobile innovation hero, but a Formula 1 circuit expert and has millions of fans all over the world. Formula 1 racer Hamilton, accompanied by technician Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff Head of Motorsport, will sit to talk about the usage and importance of smartphones in the automotive sector, at 6 pm on Tuesday the 23rd.
- 6# Sony - “Camera, design and long-lasting battery”: These three qualities are the backbone of Sony’s new line of smartphones. Xperia X is born with the priority of taking amazing photos, making use of its professional-level alpha camera features. They come in 3 models: A, slightly more modest, X and Performance. The latter has the year’s most powerful processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Kaz Hirai, CEO of Japonese company Sony, revealed that they want to become the 3rd manufacturer in Europe. “We want to make something with emotional value, that you will want to share”. The camera of both models X and Performance will have 23 megapixels on the back camera and 13 on the front camera. Here come the best selfies of the market.
- 7# MWC 2016’s Oscars: Do smartphones also have awards? Yes they do, and are as eagerly awaited as the American movie awards by technology lovers. On Tuesday the 23rd of February the awards of the edition’s Mobile World Congress Barcelona. Some of the most successful categories are the best smartphone of 2015, best low-cost smartphone under 100€ and the best mobile application. Last time, the iPhone 6 and the LG G3 were elected as the best smartphones of the year.
- 8# Xiaomi Mi5: Wednesday the 24th of February the Mi5 will officially be presented live, Chinese brand Xiaomi’s new smartphone. It is without a doubt one of the most anticipated technological devices, and not much is known about it yet, although through leaked online images it seems to have a similar outside as the previous models, including a 5.5 inch screen and a design quite different from past editions and more like the Samsung Galaxy S7’s design. It will have 4GB of RAM memory and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor like the LG G5.
- 9# T2M Twitter Tech Marketing: And a little shout-out to ourselves, as the mobile world does not revolve only around devices like smartphones, but also all solutions and services that somehow make our lives easier. As Mark Zuckerberg himself mentioned, Artificial Intelligence is the present and future of technology, as it simplifies and optimizes all tasks, amongst them Big Data analysis and management. For this reason, at the MWC this year, Cyberclick has premiered an artificial intelligence based tool which helps obtain the best results for Twitter Ads campaigns.
- 10# 4YFN: The congress could not leave out technological startups, as, without them, many of these mobile breakthroughs and innovations would never exist. The rise of these businesses has promoted the creation of another congress, parallel to the MWC, for entrepreneurs and investors, the 4YFN, which expects around 12000 participants this year.
MWC's numbers and its impact on business
These are all the must-knows of the MWC up until now, and to finish off I will leave you with a few digits, to show how big this worldwide event really is.
- 90 000 people have arrived in Barcelona to attend the Mobile World Congress
- 460 million euros are generated by the congress, directly or indirectly
- There are 2000 stands
- 13000 temporary jobs are created.
I will see you again tomorrow here on the Numerical Blog for more updates on the Mobile World Congress 2016!
Special Attendee at MWC2016