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Mobile World Congress 2016 Trend Recap

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I recently attended the 2016 Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. With over 100,000 attendees and 2,200 participating companies there was a lot of breaking news and tech on display that has the potential to reshape industries.

With mobile representing a primary access point for consumers this event is becoming increasingly important for brand marketers.

This document covers:
• Key industry topics discussed at MWC
• Overviews of technology that will empower
consumers
• The latest technology focused on creating
immersive experiences
• How connected cars are evolving to become
mobile platforms.

Tom Edwards
Chief Digital Officer, Agency
Epsilon

Published in: Mobile
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Mobile World Congress 2016 Trend Recap

  1. 1. MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2016 TREND RECAP
  2. 2. MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2016 OVERVIEW The Future on Display I recently attended the 2016 Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. With over 100,000 attendees and 2,200 participating companies there was a lot of breaking news and tech on display that has the potential to reshape industries. With mobile representing a primary access point for consumers this event is becoming increasingly important for brand marketers. This document covers: •  Key industry topics discussed at MWC •  Overviews of technology that will empower consumers •  The latest technology focused on creating immersive experiences •  How connected cars are evolving to become mobile platforms.   Tom Edwards Chief Digital Officer, Agency  
  3. 3. 0301 K E Y T O P I C S D I S C U S S E D I M M E R S I V E E X P E R I E N C E S 02 E M P O W E R I N G C O N S U M E R S 04 C O N N E C T E D C A R S
  4. 4. 01 K E Y T O P I C S D I S C U S S E D
  5. 5. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION 01 Buzzword Bingo From “SoLoMo” to “Social Business” the digital strategy industry is driven by buzzwords to frame the next incarnation of value creation for brand marketers. At Mobile World Congress 2016 no phrase was more prevalent than “digital transformation”. It was on countless booth signs and represented what became a sea of sameness. From consulting services to professional service providers, “digital transformation” was a catchy headline at first glance but it was not backed up with value creating substance. Key Takeaway The key to truly enhancing value for consumers and mitigating risk for organizations is to align with a strategic partner that is informed by data, insights and empathy.
  6. 6. AD BLOCKING 01 Breaking Through One of the most hotly debated topics at MWC 2016 was tied to ad blocking at the telco carrier level. At the center of the discussion was Shine, whose approach to ad blocking does not include publisher white listing and is based on consumer opt in. They are focused on blocking all advertising at the network level which caused major concern for publishers and adtech solution providers during panel discussions. Key Takeaway Shine’s approach to partnering on the carrier level can block out display, apps, and mobile video ads. It will not however siphon out native ad types such as those found on Facebook, Twitter & Buzzfeed. The debate will continue well past MWC and we will continue to serve as a trusted advisor to navigate the latest ad blocking challenges as they develop.
  7. 7. SPONSORED DATA 01 Value Exchange With the increased focus on ad blocking, developing new approaches to creating value exchanges with consumers will be necessary. One area that was discussed at MWC is the role sponsored data can play. The current models are built on free data in exchange for ad blocking free experiences. When looking on a global level, half of mobile users outside of the US & Europe don’t have data plans, making them receptive to free data.   Key Takeaway 60% of mobile users are concerned about their data bills and switch over to wi-fi to avoid charges. Consider partnerships with wi-fi marketing solutions as well as branded offers for free data.
  8. 8. THE ROLE OF 5G Connectivity for All Coming out of MWC were a number of key announcements tied to the role that 5G may play as the next generation of the mobile internet. This is incredibly important as it pertains to the Internet of things (IOT) as the 5G standard is expected to arrive around 2018. It is said to increase speeds at least 10x faster than LTE with near instant latency. The big advantage will be its flexibility. Carriers can adapt it to specific use cases. Smart homes and connected cars can connect at lower data speeds.   Key Takeaways In order for the future to become today in terms of fully connected devices, homes and cars that can also support the delivery of highly immersive content, 5G can play a key role in advancing connectivity.   01
  9. 9. 02 E M P O W E R I N G C O N S U M E R S
  10. 10. NEW FORM FACTORS Modular phones for the win LG was one of the big winners of MWC. The biggest announcement was tied the LG G5 smartphone that demonstrated a highly modular approach that empowers consumers to customize their experience. Components are plugged in by pulling off the base of the G5 and swapping between a digital to analogue converter, which can provide higher resolution sound as well as a camera controller module that enhanced zooming and usability of the camera.   Key Takeaways This dynamic approach to modular components could be a key step forward for mobile handsets that have been caught in a cycle of incremental innovation. For brand marketers there may be an opportunity to create custom brand modules that can provide additional utility for the right products.   02
  11. 11. CONSUMERS IN CONTROL 02 Consumer Ready VR In order for consumers to adopt VR it is important that they also have the ability to create their own immersive content. Samsung & LG both showcased virtual reality consumer cameras. Samsung Gear 360 will ship in Q2 2016 to compliment the Gear VR headset. I had a hands on experience with Nokia’s OZO camera that is geared towards professionals. From drones to live broadcasts, the OZO will be one to watch.   Key Takeaways VR consumer cameras provide the ability to capture images and video as well as footage editing and playback. As more solutions are available to consumers, the potential for user created virtual reality content becomes a new frontier for immersive advocacy driven content.  
  12. 12. UTILITY + USE CASES = NEW OPPORTUNITIES From Low Light to Water Proof One of the common themes across new handsets launched at MWC were tied to further enhancing the utility of the phone while also creating new potential use cases for marketers. I had hands on time with Sony’s Xperia line and they were quick to focus on the phones ability to take amazing low light selfies as well as showcasing a projector that interacts with voice, gesture and touch as well as an Xperia Ear bud that essentially puts a virtual assistant in your ear.   Key Takeaways It is important for brand marketers to be mindful of new hardware and software features that are launched and consider use cases for future campaigns. For example, having a low-light selfie campaign could be a great way for a spirit brand to capitalize on advocacy of their product while also leveraging new phone features or underwater selfies for hospitality brands that are looking for a new way to showcase vacation destinations.   02
  13. 13. CONNECTING CONSUMERS Internet of Everything Connected devices were on display at MWC in full force. IOT cars, drones, watches, glasses, gloves and cows?!?. A cow was equipped with a wide range of sensors to demonstrate the benefit of a connected cow. Companies such as Intel, Microsoft and Jasper showcased how they can provide seamless access and connectivity to easily connect a sea of sensors. We are reaching a point very quickly where the low cost of sensors combined with machine learning based systems to process the large amount of data created and software that visualize data.   Key Takeaways It is important to develop a roadmap and strategic framework to highlight the role that a brand can play within the IOT ecosystem. There are many possible scenarios from partnerships with sensor providers, leveraging existing networks, such as Under Armour’s connected communities leveraging the insights from connected devices to create new opportunities to connect with consumers.   02
  14. 14. 03 I M M E R S I V E E X P E R I E N C E S
  15. 15. CARDBOARD 2.0 LG’s Approach to VR LG surprised many attendees at MWC by introducing the LG 360 VR viewer. Deemed by many as a nicer version of Google cardboard, the LG 360 viewer connects via a USB-C Cable, is lightweight and of course requires a LG smartphone to work. While there are concerns about how much “reality” is let in by the design, meaning light and other distractions, the momentum of light weight VR solutions is hard to ignore.   Key Takeaways Lightweight VR experiences will enable brands and marketers to drive attention and enable consumers. VR experiences are ideal for branded integrations as they are tied to the mobile device and can extend immersive content experience.   03
  16. 16. VIRTUAL REALITY FOR THE MASSES Facebook + Samsung During MWC 2016, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s intention to provide free Gear VR headsets for pre-orders of Samsung’s S7. Mark also claimed that more than 1 million hours of VR content has been viewed on Samsung devices. Facebook announced dynamic streaming support for the Gear VR, which will optimize the 360 video experience. Mark also discussed the role that Social VR will play to further enable connection and sharing and the fact that Facebook has created a Social VR team.   Key Takeaways VR will play an increasingly important role in Facebook’s monetization strategy of the future. Facebook believes that VR is the next evolution of computing and we will continue to partner closely with the Facebook team and co-create compelling solutions.   03
  17. 17. SEEING THE INVISIBLE Augmenting Reality One of the more interesting augmented reality demonstrations at MWC was Qualcomm’s invisible museum. Initially featured at CES, the Invisible museum showcased Qualcomm contributions to smart homes, smart cities, cognitive technology, mobile experiences and connectivity.   Key Takeaways Creating augmented reality solutions can be a compelling way to create new forms of brand storytelling while also maximizing space. The highly engaging form factor and the freedom to create new and immersive content can be a key addition to an experiential event.   03
  18. 18. MIXING REALITY Mixed Reality Holographic computing, sometimes called mixed reality, is a form of augmented reality (AR) where users can spatially interact with digital overlays. A recent forecast from Citi analysts highlighted the future of the VR/AR industry, and their view is that AR technologies will be most likely to disrupt major digital markets.   Many organizations are exploring mixed reality solutions. One that has garnered a lot of attention is Microsoft, with Hololens. Hololens produces interactive holograms that augment the existing physical world and was present at MWC 2016.   Key Takeaways The potential application for brand marketers is incredibly exciting as AR represents a blank canvas against the physical world. The developer beta starts in January 2016 and Epsilon will be active in the first wave of the program.   03
  19. 19. 04 C O N N E C T E D C A R S
  20. 20. TODAY = CONNECTIVITY Racing to connect Until the past few years, automotive digital technology had focused on optimizing internal functions. Now attention has shifted to enhancing the in-car experience. At MWC 2016, Telco carriers and car companies were eager to show off how they plan on creating new forms of connectivity. Ford showcased advancements in their Ford Smart Mobility platform and announced they now consider themselves an auto and mobility company.   Key Takeaways As cars of the future become more connected with cellular LTE connectivity and Wi-fi and traditional automotive organizations shift towards expanding their offerings and ecosystems of providers, a dynamic shift is underway that can transform the in car experience beyond simply enabling connection.   04
  21. 21. TOMORROW = AUTONOMOUS Self-Driving Cars One of the stars of the MWC show was the Mercedes F 015 which represented a partnership between Qualcomm & Mercedes Benz. This autonomous car of the future provides a glimpse at potential form factors for luxury autonomous vehicles. By 2030 there could be as many as 44 million autonomous and connected cars on public streets. Consumer interest in self-driving vehicles is high, as long as drivers have the option of taking the wheel when they want to.   Key Takeaways By removing the task of driving, autonomous cars represent a new way for brand marketers to re- imagine how to connect with consumers in transit. Commuting becomes an opportunity to create highly engaging experiences and contextual connection.   04
  22. 22. FUTURE = CAR AS THE NEXT MOBILE PLATFORM Presence + Technology The Mercedes F 015’s interior featured six high resolution display screens integrated into the rear and side panels. These displays can be controlled through touch, gesture command and eye tracking. The F 015 is a great example of how it is possible to provide seamless connectivity for potential consumers that can convert into marketing strategies.   Key Takeaways The cars of the future will become the mobile platform of the future and provide a new canvas for brand marketers to create new ways to connect with consumers. This can come in the form of deeper insights into consumer behaviors in the vehicle as well as an opportunity to create highly contextual opportunities to connect.   04
  23. 23. IMMERSIVE IN-CAR EXPERIENCES Transforming Your Commute Virtual Reality is already playing a key role in autonomous vehicle testing. Using projectors, motion capture tech and animation software, researchers are developing systems to simulate autonomous vehicle testing. As fully connected self-driving cars become reality, it will be possible to create virtual and potentially mixed reality experiences within the vehicles.   Key Takeaways As cars evolve into the next mobile platform, they become an incredibly viable way to engage consumers with highly immersive experiences. By integrating virtual reality into fully self- driving cars, there is an opportunity to convert simple commutes into highly immersive experiences.   04
  24. 24. T H A N K Y O U . Q U E S T I O N S A B O U T M W C 2 0 1 6 ? C O N T A C T T O M E D W A R D S , C H I E F D I G I T A L O F F I C E R , A G E N C Y E - M A I L : T O M . E D W A R D S @ E P S I L O N . C O M

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