90,000 delegates recently flocked to Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC), the biggest mobile focused show in the world.
From wearable devices to connected homes, mobile technology is currently central to much of the world’s technology breakthroughs, and the MWC showcased the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos in mobile communication.
Here are our three favourite products from this year’s MWC:
MWC seen Samsung launch their eagerly anticipated flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The main differentiating feature between the two devices is the screen. Whilst the S6 comes with a standard, flat screen, the S6 Edge has a screen which wraps around the edges of both the left and right hand side. The curved screen adds a few features that slide out from the side of the phone, including menu icons, App alerts, a clock along the edge at night and even a ruler.
The two new Samsung devices also have a very sharp display. The 5.1 inch screen has a quad HD resolution with a density of 577 pixels per inch (ppi), in comparison to the 432ppi Galaxy S5 and the 401ppi iPhone 6 Plus.
The devices also support Samsung Pay, Samsung’s latest entrant into the mobile payment market. The service is set to be available in both the US and Korea from the summer, though there is not yet news of the feature coming to Europe.
Samsung’s new flagship devices also support wireless charging.
Ikea announced the launch of their new ‘Home Smart’ home furniture range which features built in wireless charging technology enabling mobile devices to be wirelessly charged. USB ports on the bed side tables, lamps and desks will also allow additional devices to be charged simultaneously. Individual charging pads for any surface will also go on sale, effectively turning any unit into a charging spot.
The range is compatible with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6, Google Nexus 6 and many Nokia Lumia devices. Though it is not compatible with the iPhone range and older versions of the Galaxy, Ikea will sell special charging covers which will support the wireless technology.
The furniture featuring the Qi wireless charging technology will go on sale in the UK in April, costing roughly £20 extra than its basic counterpart. The charging pads are set to cost around £30.
The MWC seen HTC reveal their entrant into the virtual reality market with their virtual reality headset, Vive. In conjunction with Valve, a leading PC games publisher, Vive utilises wireless controllers and tracking technology to enable wearers to view computer generated environments to give them a sense of being there. Vive allows users to actually move around the virtual environment, unlike existing virtual reality products.
Google, Lion’s Gate, HBO and Valve itself have been announced as initial content partners. The HTC Vive will be a PC accessory though HTC has said, in the future, that the Vive will work with their phones, starting with receiving notifications and incoming messages.