A 360º mobile revolution
“We expect to break records this year”. The words of John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd. –organizer of the Mobile World Congress (MWC)–, are not new, but are still news. This is because the MWC, the leading event worldwide for mobile technologies, expects its 2016 edition to hit even greater heights. Over 95,000 visitors are expected to arrive, all keen to discover the latest advances from more than 2,100 exhibiting companies who are going to occupy more than 110,000m2. The event will create over 13,000 temporary jobs, and the impact on the economy of the city has been estimated at 460 million euros, which is yet another record.
The penetration of these technologies into our daily lives grows more powerful each day. Despite the fact that the focal point of the entire ecosystem – the Smartphone – seems to have slipped from the front line of innovation, and its place among the wishes of the majority of consumers, according to Ben Wood, research director of CCS Insight, a company specializing in the analysis of technology industries, 2016 will see the astonishing number of 1,6 billions smartphones sold, a figure that is expected to reach 2 billions in 2019.
The smartphone has become in an inseparable part of our society and one of the most widespread electronic devices in the world. However, Wood predicts that wearables, which barely existed only three years ago, are ready to come of age, and there are three segments which are set to grow and consolidate in 2016:
- Health-related accessories – generically referred to as fitness bands or trackers – have found a niche for themselves among the public and, once they have achieved sufficient autonomy to be something more than a distraction with a battery that needed to be recharged every day, they have added new features like monitoring vital signs or reminding the user when it is time to take medicine.
- One very similar case is that of the smartwatches, which have left their more awkward and unwieldy formats behind in the development phase to emerge as designer accessories.
- Finally, there are the glasses for augmented reality and virtual reality. The development, fine-tuning and reduction in costs of 360° cameras have made this technology popular at the same time as it has caught the attention of filmmakers. Watch the photo and the 360 degree video.
This has been confirmed by the latest movements of technology leaders such as Apple as we will be able to see first hand between the 22nd and 25th February at the Gran Via site of Fira de Barcelona.
The graphene revolution
One of the most disruptive presences at the Mobile World Congress 2016 is a space dedicated to graphene. The impact of this material on many of the components used in the manufacture of mobile devices has encouraged GSMA to dedicate a pavilion specifically to it.
Many experts expect it to turn the technologies for screens, sensors, storage, chips and even energy transfer upside down, offering an exponential boost to battery duration and quality. To round off this 360º offering about this new material, its discoverer, Sir Konstantin Novoselov, a British scientist who earned a Nobel Prize for this work, will take part in the programme of conferences with his paper “The Graphene Revolution”.