Every year thousands of technology experts and enthusiasts, including high-profile attendees such as Mark Zuckerberg, descend on Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress. All the tech heavyweights come to show off their latest innovations, with a new vanguard of features that will stretch the imagination. This is truly the place to be for those at the cusp of technology who want to learn about and see firsthand the latest trends and developments.
This year the event will take place between February 25 and 28 at the prestigious Fira Gran Via, under the new moniker MWC. This is in a bid to expand the focus beyond mobile technology to all the upcoming tech trends. According to the experts, this year’s congress will feature technological advances in the following areas. Read on to find out what’s in store for those attending.
One of the main themes for the Mobile World Congress this year will be connectivity. As the global landscape becomes increasingly digital, connectivity is becoming both a challenge and a concern. In this realm, one of the biggest technology advances of this decade will be the upgrade to a 5G network. This is purported to start reaching mobile users early this year, allowing for speeds up to 20 times faster than the current 4G network. Patchy FaceTimes and slow downloads could well be a thing of the past, with 5G allowing us to be more interconnected than ever before.
At EU we were privileged to host a conference with Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London, Mischa Dohler, one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of telecommunications, 5G, AI and robotics. As a preview of the speeds and connectivity that 5G could provide, he spoke about plans to host a simultaneous concert in two different countries – a feat possible because of the lack of time lag. With over 130 5G trials taking place across Europe, widespread access is expected to hit the region by 2020.
Samsung are expected to be one of the first mobile companies to take this on and have recently demonstrated 5G smartphone prototypes. MWC attendees may well see something similar there.
Another big technology trend for this year, and one that is expected to dominate at MWC 2019, is immersive content. From Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to mixed reality and 360° content, immersive content is all about bringing creative and innovative content to the consumer. While VR is probably the most exciting concept, AR and MR are easily integrated into day-to-day life. Companies like Amazon are also rolling out AR, so that buyers can sample what furniture products will look like in their own homes before purchasing.
An exciting advancement in immersive content is Microsoft’s work with mixed reality, which they call ‘Holoportation’. This uses the company’s MR HoloLens headset to teleport a real-time, life-size, 3D, interactive hologram of a person to another location – the likes of which will be showcased at MWC 2019.
Immersive content does not come without its challenges however. One of the key themes to be discussed at MWC in this area will be the relationship between consumption growth and network capacity.
Industry 4.0 represents the fourth revolution that has occurred in manufacturing, including the adoption of smart and autonomous systems of information that use data and machine learning. At MWC there will be detailed analysis of the implementation and impact of the IoT (Internet of Things), cyber-physical systems, cloud and cognitive computing that together constitute Industry 4.0.
One of the biggest advances in this realm is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is now being implemented into several operating systems and across numerous industries. For example, the online retail market has found use for it tailoring content to the needs of individual consumers based on machine learning of their tastes. EU also had the opportunity to talk to Jaume Portell, co-founder and CEO of Beabloo, at our AI and Robotics Summit. He spoke about the changing face of retail and how they have used AI to enhance customer experience through AI software that evaluates customer behavior. Screens are then tailored to the individual with adverts, suggestions and product information.
AI is becoming a commodity in the business and technology world because its ability to imitate human behavior and thinking can have a profound impact. With a market projected to reach 70 billion dollars by 2020, the conference will explore the impact this technological revolution will have on our professional and personal lives.
Digital wellness is the amalgamation of the current trend towards self-care and the obsession with all things digital. The idea is to use the digital world to promote a healthy lifestyle. One obvious example is the use of smart watches that track fitness levels and health data, but the industry is expanding much further than that. Digital should improve users lives, not distract from it – an idea that will be explored at the MWC.
New Phone Announcements
Famously, Mobile World Congress is when phone brands release their new phones for the upcoming year, with conferences happening around the dates of MWC. If you’re lucky enough to attend, you could even be one of the first people to try out these new innovative pieces of hardware.
Huawei are expected to launch their next generation phone, the P30, with a conference booked for February 24. Features of the phone are set to include a triple-lens rear camera and almost no bezel. LG also have a conference booked for this date with rumors of the reveal of the next phone in their series, the G8. There is also talk about the release of the V50, their 5G handset. February 25 will see a press conference by Sony and it is widely assumed they will be announcing a new Xperia device, with speculation that it will have three cameras on the back and a 21:9 aspect display.
Samsung have confirmed the reveal of the Galaxy S10 models to be announced on February 20, so guests can be sure to preview them at the conference itself. However, there is also talk that Samsung could use MWC to show off the Galaxy F/X (the name is, as of yet, still unconfirmed), their much talked about folding phone. There is also speculation that they could release Galaxy Sport, a new smartwatch, although with no conferences booked in this may be unlikely.
There are also rumors about other technology releases. Microsoft have confirmed they will be at MWC this year with some suggesting they could be launching HoloLens 2, their mixed reality headset, or something related to 5G. Oppo have also confirmed they will be at MWC with the launch of their 10x zoom camera, an exciting prospect for camera-lovers.
While Google will not be announcing there, they will be in attendance supporting their Android partners. Later in the year EU will have the privilege of hosting the country director of Google for Belgium and Luxembourg, Thierry Geerts, at the Bayerischer Hof, Munich, on April 1.
4YearsFromNow (4YFN) is an entrepreneur event for the startup community which complements MWC. They will be promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting startups, investors and corporations. This is the place for budding startups to get connected with networking activities and workshops offering unique opportunities for new ventures.
If gaining the business skills to become one of the next leaders in technologies and innovations interests you, check out EU Business School’s degrees here.