Mobile World Congress 2018

JM Group
13 February 2018
 

The biggest mobile show on earth, Mobile World Congress, is about to take place in the Mobile World Capital of Barcelona for the 13th year in a row. At this year’s event, the prominent theme is “creating a better future with mobile technology,” with mobile communication now reaching nearly 5 billion people or 2/3 of the world’s population.

MWC18 IN A NUTSHELL

Today, mobile technology is truly having a renowned impact by improving health services in remote areas, tracking diseases, empowering urban farmers, monitoring elections, lowering the threshold for free education, giving everyone access to banking services, connecting families across the globe and so much more.

One big challenge nonetheless, is that the “the real world” is years behind the promises and deliberations presented at large conferences. While technology companies and industry experts discuss how voice control and personal assistants are taking over the home, most people still struggle to make them do anything more than set an alarm or tell them the weather.

LGs opening presentation at CES on the LG CLOi smart home assistant serves as a reminder to the industry. The industry has a habit of creating unrealistic expectations, but when push comes to shove, ends up under delivering. This recent video of what HAL 9000 would be like if it was powered by Alexa is funny, but also serves as a great representation into what people are experiencing on a daily basis. The same holds true for Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, the smart home and Autonomous Vehicles.

One notable exception is Apple. While a few years behind on delivering “new stuff,” they bring to the table products that work. In the past year, Apple has launched their Face ID and Artificial Intelligence technologies. Their desire to deliver on their promises could possibly be the reason that they’ve postponed the delivery of their Apple HomePod. This leads us to an important lesson to everyone exhibiting at Mobile World Congress 18: show off the latest concepts, but be honest about the readiness of the technology.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE AT MWC18

At Mobile World Congress 18 you will be hearing about Personal Assistants, Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Blockchain, more Augmented and Virtual Reality, Smart Home’s and the increase in devices connected to the internet.

Take for example emerging technologies like the Sophia robot, the stepping stone to robots that actually think. In 2017 and again at CES 2018, Sophia the Citizen Robot stole the show, dominating the AI assistant conversation and reporting. We can except MWC18 to be no different.

Often the less exciting, real heroes of the show are forgotten or over shadowed by mega trends. Take mobile apps for instance. By listening to industry experts, you would have thought we reached peak app status several years ago. On the contrary, last year alone, revenues from Apple’s App Store grew 30% while app usage continues to increase at a similar rate. In reality, most enterprises are only now finally starting to catch up to “mobilizing the enterprise” with the launch of mobile apps.

So maybe the big trends at MWC18 are in the non-trends?

  • Making our devices and data more secure with Intel’s security flaw a big topic
  • Digital transformation of the mobile Industry which is far overdue
  • Making 4G faster and more reliable
  • Mobile payments leading the way in China
  • Tools to develop better apps for employees and consumers
  • Making Telemedicine available to Healthcare
  • Mobile technology that reduces energy usage, waste and CO2 emissions
  • Using mobile technology to build smarter factories, better transportation, safer cars and a better world

This leads us back to the prominent theme for this year… Enter MWC18 with this in mind, “creating a better future with mobile technology.” Make this your mantra for the conference. I’m sure this way you’ll get a lot more value out of the conference, rather than just checking out all the latest gadgets.

​By Magnus Jern, Chief Innovation Officer, DMI

 

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