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Mobile World Congress 2014 - Fjord's summary

For the past seven years Fjordians from all over the world have travelled to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to get inspired, peek into the future, share insights, and build new and existing relationships

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Mobile World Congress 2014 - Fjord's summary

  1. 1. Mobile World Congress 2014 summary March 2014
  2. 2. Confidential Page 2 Connected Car Congress? One of the most popular themes at MWC this year was the connected car. Ford launched the new Ford Focus model, and in conjunction with this unveiled the Ford Automated Research Vehicle, Ford Sync 2, a step on the way to the future of the connected car. Ford’s decision to launch a new vehicle at Mobile World Congress underlines the event’s significance, and the growing convergence of technology and mobility. Other products worth mentioning were the VW connected car solution using mirror link, Neonode’s steering wheel pressure sensor demo, Telefónica’s connected car solution for Tesla, and QNX and Qualcomm’s partnership in developing Snapdragon Automotive Solution featuring facial, gesture and voice recognition abilities. Ford: Through the eyes of the car Pressure sensor demo by Nenode at MWC
  3. 3. Confidential Page 3 But where is the consumer benefit? Yes, cars were everywhere, but the strong consumer angle or meaning, was missing. Two examples where this isn’t true, and things we found interesting, were firstly the connected motorcycle helmet and gloves from Telefónica, that automatically alerts emergency services if the wearer has an accident (to their location too). The gloves feature sensors that allow control over the helmet functions with minimal gestures. Another highly imaginative development is Volvo’s food delivery service which allows drivers to get food delivered to the boot (or trunk) of their car at the press of a button, using a digital key which is valid for one use only. Watch this one: your car is now addressable (and soon other objects too) and keys can disappear after use – we will hear more examples like this. In terms of Fjord’s views on the connected car, our own Iñaki Amate, shared insights on the subject and his views on the future at the Car Connectivity Consortium during the App Developer Conference. The presentation is available on Slideshare. Inaki Amate sharing insights on the future of the connected car
  4. 4. Confidential Page 4 Wearables – start-ups vs giants Wearables were, just as the connected car was, a major theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Wearables were everywhere, however we felt that everything was still a bit generation one and a lot of companies were perhaps creating wearables without thinking through the consumer element fully, and addressing their reason to exist (the wearable, not the consumer!). In our Fjord Trends this year, we offer advice to companies on Wearables strategies; make sure there’s a reason for them. The Samsung Galaxy Gear took a central role on the wearable scene this year (Samsung generally seemed to be as ubiquitous as cars and wearables). Sony presented its activity and life- logging wearable SmartBand, which also includes location data and social media happenings in real time. Italian company I’m sPa, exhibited I’m Tracer, a wearable GPS targeted at children and pets, which can be worn either as a wristband or a collar. The show also saw promises from both HTC and Motorola of wearable devices in the future. Which major will bet the house on a wearable start-up first? Watch this space in 2014 for rising valuations. Samsung Gear at MWC The GPS wearable I’m Tracer from I’m sPa
  5. 5. Confidential Page 5 But winners will have to conquer battery and cable issues Something we really noticed though, was that the majority of devices saw a 3-4 days battery life, and they all needed (non- standard) cables and chargers, which people will find frustrating and challenging. This will definitely be one of the challenges to solve for designers and companies in the future. The show also saw some wearable headpieces, one from the Japanese firm Mirama which, among other functions, lets you send emails and take pictures using only your hands. But how long do we wish to hold our hands up in front of us to interact before it gets tiring? Huawei announced TalkBand1, a fitness band that doubles up as a phone as it features a wireless Bluetooth earpiece, allowing the wearer to make hands free phone calls on the go. Mirama headwear in use Huawei TalkBand1 at MWC
  6. 6. Confidential Page 6 Mobile: Samsung everywhere As usual Apple stayed away and Google’s presence was notably lower key. Which left the field open for Samsung to dominate – showing their ambition with: - a clear move to enterprise with v2 of their Knox security software given real prominence - Displays dedicated to education, health, cars etc… - Every screen size imaginable and the Galaxy S5 launch - Even a stand in Hall 8.1 (the outlier hall where start-ups and the advertising crowd hustle) Sony demonstrated it’s new flagship phone, the Sony Xperia Z2, which most notably contained some impressive photography abilities demonstrated by Sony on giant HD televisions at the show. The Mozilla Firefox OS, an open platform built entirely using HTML5, was also very prominent this year, definitely something to watch. We also saw LG display their self-healing phone, and their bendy LG G Flex version, which they say will offer a better video experience and more ergonomic phone calls, but design-wise might impose a challenge if you wish to carry the phone anywhere else than the back pocket of your jeans.
  7. 7. Confidential Page 7 But innovation thrives at the edge too Another one to watch is Blippar - an AR advertising service. It places an augmented layer via your mobile over products or anything your phone can scan. Brands have been using it to bring campaigns and messages to life in truly creative and engaging ways. Another very smart start-up is – Israeli start-up of the year with a breakthrough mobile web browsing solution – worth a close look. Fairphone is a new social enterprise that “puts social values first” and makes a smartphone, and thus stood out in the commercial mosh pit of MWC. It’s ethically sourced and built, and features a time bar that allows you to silence your phone for a given period “I want to be at peace with my phone for….” The Ericsson stand was well worth a visit – if you could get an invitation – not just for the abundant food, but for the innovation. We were struck by the network base station that doubles up as an LED lamp post and Connected Paper – which makes it easy for the individual to access information about anything with print on it by touching it. You have to see it really. Possibly the most magical thing on display at MWC. Sandisk has stuffed 128GB into a microSD card. It’s smaller than a fingernail. Technology from Fraunhofer was a hit for its (pretty accurate) age and gender detection. Expect smart mirrors with health functionality and detection at MWC next year. And finally Fjord’s own Mark Curtis presented at the NAB show which was during MWC on the effect mobile has on broadcast media, and how this might develop in the future. The full presentation is available on Slideshare. Ericsson’s connected lamppost Fairphone’s silence slider
  8. 8. Confidential Page 8 Join us next year #MWC15 #FjordMWC
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