Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona promised to be bigger and better than ever, and so far it has not disappointed. There has been a raft of major product launches, announcements and even a world-first at the planet’s most influential mobile event.
Stealing the earlier part of the week was Samsung, which both unveiled the much anticipated Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, then later at the show giving the first-ever public demonstration of 5G.
The S7 range was launched with a huge fanfare and even featured a surprise appearance from Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder was on stage demonstrating how the new smartphone could revolutionise web browsing through virtual reality.
At a separate session, Samsung Electronics with Deutsche Telekom successfully demonstrated 5G, which involved two smartphones and a robotic arm and 4K video was transmitted without any delays. We’re not sure how many times the average Jo, will be controlling a robot with their phone but interesting nevertheless!
Speaking of virtual reality, I particularly enjoyed trying on a VR headset at old client, Comverse, now part of Xura. They are looking to push the boundaries of how Communication Service Providers (CSPs) (mobile operator to you and me) work with digital content.
Multi-function mobile devices
Since the last MWC there has been a great drive towards business-focused 2-in-1 tablets, following on from Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Apple’s iPad Pro. As such MWC16 has seen Fujitsu, Lenovo and Huawei launching their versions of multi-use tablets.
Attempting to go one, if not two steps further, is HP, which is looking to bridge the gap between smartphone, phablet, tablet, laptop and desktop with its Elite x3. The Windows 10-based smartphone is designed to be a mobile ecosystem that will allow people to use the devices as any platform they wish.
Other news at MWC
There was plenty of other interesting news at the show. Lance Anderson, vice president of enterprise sales at Vuzix Corporation spoke at the Enterprise Wearables for Improved Productivity and Safety session on Monday.
At MWC Vuzix is showcasing its iWear Video Headphones, along with the M300 and M100 Smart Glasses. Lance’s keynote explored the benefits of Vuzix Smart Glasses, looking at their current and future uses in enterprise. For example, the next generation M300 has been specifically designed to have the ruggedized form, improved ergonomics and greater processing power required in enterprise, industrial and medical environments.
On Wednesday, Danielle Levitas, senior vice president of research and marketing communications at App Annie gave a CxO interview to Mobile World Live TV. Talking about app monetisation and engagement, Danielle explained that while a majority of the total app revenue is concentrated in a minority of apps, there were still huge monetisation opportunities for others. In particular, monetisation opportunities came from consumers using apps to make purchases in greater numbers than through browsers.
When asked about engagement, Danielle said that keep in regular contact with customers is key without being overly intrusive. Danielle told Mobile World Live: “It is important to get the level of prompting right.”
She went on to say that in terms of metrics for measuring the success of an app, frequency of visits was more important than the length of visits. This is due to the fact that someone might only be spending a lot of time on an app because of friction or difficulty in navigation.
Global head of security at Sophos, James Lyne, chatted about Securing The Internet of Things (IoT) in his session. He’s arguing the case for security to be a much higher priority for IoT manufacturers and developers to make consumer devices safer from hackers and snoopers.
What have your experiences of MWC16 been? What was the most interesting launch/event/product at this year’s show? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a Tweet at @RedLorryComms.