Touches of quirkiness at this year’s Mobile World Congress


Touches of quirkiness at this year’s Mobile World Congress

Barcelona - Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, Spain) 41° 39' 43.285" N - 2° 17' 15.593" E

Barcelona - MWC (Barcelona, Spain) 41° 39' 43.285" N - 2° 17' 15.593" E
It’s always interesting to see the unique and strange things on show at Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile industry exhibition. Over the past couple of years the exhibition has included a variety of exciting and innovative products, including a smart cane for senior citizens and playful Korean robots designed for children.

This year the event is taking place in Barcelona, and although the event is getting bigger every year, we are happy to see that its increasing size does not seem to have diminished the Mobile World Congress wackiness or inventiveness of the products.

Among this year’s weird and wonderful exhibits, AT&T have been showing off a smart 3G-equipped rubbish bin, which lets collection companies know when it’s time for it to be emptied, and also send alerts if the bin is tampered with in any way. The bin was designed to aid shredding companies, who found that they were wasting time visiting customers even though many of their bins were practically empty.

AT&T’s Craig Lee stated that the bin would allow shredding companies to optimise their route planning, saving time and hassle and ensuring they only travelled to pick up the bins that needed to be picked up.

Another eye-catching exhibit was the new Lenovo Vibe phone, which has a powerful, high quality camera and features a unique new detail – an Age and Happiness index, which essentially means that the phone guesses your age based on your smile.

One of the most interesting products at the exhibit was the Runcible, a versatile device which looks almost like a pocketwatch, but with many of the features you would find on a modern smartphone, including running Firefox OS. Aubrey Anderson, the head of Monohm, the company behind Runcible, said that it occupies the space between a wearable device and a smartphone, and that their aim was to use smartphone intelligence for a new and different purpose. The Runcible will become available to buy later in 2015. It will be sold by KDDI in Japan, and the Runcible team will sell it unlocked directly in markets in other countries.

There were also plenty of robots to be seen at the Mobile World Congress this year. NEC exhibited a prototype of a new communication-focused robot named PaPaRo, which is controlled by voice commands. With cameras for eyes, the robot has a somewhat strange appearance, although it does boast a cute voice. However, it proved to have mixed results when it came to voice commands, although that could have been a result of the noisy surroundings of the show.

Even cuter than the PaPaRo was HTC’s prototype charging dock, with a periscope-style camera that gives the device the appearance of a dinosaur with a long neck.

As well as the products themselves, there were plenty of fun and exciting sights to be seen in Barcelona, as always, such as the colourful performers on Las Ramblas. There were also plenty of parties hosted by tech giants including Qualcomm, Twitter, and many more from around the world. Xiaomi threw a small house party at their team’s rented accommodation, and MediaTek hosted an event at the Moritz brewery, the perfect spot for tapas and beer.

Barcelona - PaPaRo Prototype (Barcelona, Spain)


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Touches of quirkiness at this year’s Mobile World Congress