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MWC 2015 - A Recap of the Key Announcements, Highlights and Trends


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Mobile World Congress 2015 was the best and most exciting congress to date. It showed how mobility is transforming every industry, our infrastructure, society and our daily lives. This is a full recap covering all the key themes from this year; the big device launches, Internet of Things, wearables, personalised consumer experiences based on big data, 5G, AdTech, analytics, privacy and security, and more.

Let us know in the comments if we missed anything from the event that was important to you; is there a key trend, technology or company that you think should have been included?

Published in: Mobile
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MWC 2015 - A Recap of the Key Announcements, Highlights and Trends

  1. 1. MWC 2015 A recap of the key announcements, highlights and trends
  2. 2. The key themes at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) were big device launches as usual, the Internet of Things (IoT or Internet of Everything), wearables, personalised consumer experiences based on big data, 5G, AdTech, analytics, privacy and security. We also found some interesting examples of mobile tech that saves lives. To help you better understand what all of the above will mean to you and your business we’ve created this summary that covers everything you need to know from MWC15.
  3. 3. Devices - Samsung The Samsung Galaxy S6 is as big as it gets for MWC. This is the equivalent of the iPhone 6 for Samsung and we are not disappointed. This is big news simply because it looks amazing. The S6 comes in two versions, one with a “normal” screen and the other with the Edge screen that has a display that curves around both sides. However we question if it has much value beyond looks and fast navigation on the right side menu. Other highlights of the device includes the new processor by Samsung, an improved fingerprint reader, payments with LoopPay and wireless charging.
  4. 4. Devices - Huawei The 2nd generation of the Talkband, or Talkband B2, looks a lot slicker than its predecessor and includes a gyroscope improving movement tracking. It’s not likely to make a big splash in North America or Europe but it’s interesting to understand what wearables are trending in China at the moment. The Huawei Watch on the other hand looks like one of the most beautifully designed Android Wear devices. This is expected to be available in about 20 markets from around June-July, so a lot can happen between now and then.
  5. 5. Devices - HTC & LG Combining the M7 and M8, the HTC One M9 is the flagship device from HTC with a new design, processor, 20 megapixel camera, Dolby Surround sound, integration with various home sound systems and more. HTC also announced HTC Grip which is HTC’s first wearable with fitness trackers, GPS, G sensor, Gyro, Compass. The Grip works with both Android and iOS. The most exciting news from LG was the Urbane LTE smartwatch (pictured) - one of the first smartwatches to work standalone without a smartphone (instead the Urbane relies on a smartwatch connection). This is another example of how smartwatches and traditional watches are slowly merging. In addition to this LG announced four new mid- range smartphones including Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy.
  6. 6. What this means for you We are excited about the Samsung S6 and HTC M9 devices. They have a lot of technology improvements, so in terms of specification they beat the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. More importantly however they both focus on the overall customer experience this time which is great. These are nice come-backs from Samsung and HTC so expect good sales and customer adaptation. On the wearable side we liked the looks of several of the new devices including the Huawei and LG but neither of these will sell in big volumes in the Americas and Europe. The Apple Watch outshined all other wearables despite not being launched by the time of the show. This means that from a brand or start-up point of view, the Apple Watch is what most developers will target first. And that’s despite the fact that most Apple Watch functionality is already supported by Android Wear.
  7. 7. Internet of Things This year MWC followed on the success of last years ‘Connected City’ with the Innovation City where IoT was showcased in its four key themes: Consumer devices/electronics connected to the Internet at home or anywhere else where they might be useful, connected cars, connected infrastructure and devices in public spaces and enterprises and infrastructure solutions to manage connected devices. Generally most of the exhibitions consisted of the last three with connected cars from Audi, Porsche and others, examples of how IoT is used to cut energy costs in connected cities through smart grids as well as hundreds of companies offering software and cloud solutions to manage IoT devices. The only exception was the connected toothbrush from last year’s congress.
  8. 8. What this means for you Although the Innovation City was a highlight at MWC this year and had plenty of interesting demos, we can’t help but feel there is still quite a way to go before the core infrastructure in cities and companies are connected. The connected home, car and city are almost a reality, but at the moment the devices are still not connected to each other in a meaningful or intelligent way. Data analytics, analysis and AI will play a critical role here. This will be a gradual process and although there has been progress since last year, truly smart cities, enterprises and the connected life is still a few years away. Now is the time to experiment and find ways for your organization to disrupt your industry. There was also one area focusing on green mobility with the aim of reducing environmental impact from transportation, using renewable energy to power our telecommunication networks and allowing citizens to better understand and therefore reduce their carbon dioxide footprint. Entire cities can soon be monitored and systems set up wirelessly reducing the need for physical infrastructure and with notable cost and energy savings.
  9. 9. Internet of Things Technologies ProGlove Smart glove gathering data that helps you work faster and safer GasLinkA Remote monitoring of tanks and meters for the gas industry QuakeShare (safety companion) Solution for disaster release in seismic zones including sensors, relief assistance, satellite images and more Uniquicom SafeLocator Suite Tracking and positioning of people, vehicles and assets in- and outdoor, monitoring of works and distributed sensors Onköl Base station for the home that connects all health devices to send the data safely to your chosen caregiver DomoCare Sensors and monitoring to alert caregivers when fragility has been detected at a seniors’ home microBSP Remotely controllable medical device that actively diffuses drugs through the skin
  10. 10. 10 There is a myriad of new devices for use in the majority of industries that can revolutionise monitoring and tracking of people, vehicles and data. We expect further accelerated growth in this area as new gadgets can be created through crowdfunding with budgets as small as 100,000 dollar. Make sure you stay up-to-date with the gadgets, sensors and devices with potential of impacting your organisation. Start by testing them in pilots and learn more about how IoT can help you. There was a separate event called IoT Stars where start-ups competed for attention. The speed of innovation and potential for disruption in this space is staggering. We will be keeping a close eye on the best and most effective gadgets and start-ups, providing information on the many use cases for both industry and commercial use. What this means for you
  11. 11. Wearables What excites us most in the wearables section are the specialist wearable devices such as Garmin for extreme sports or wearables used within healthcare. A new generation of devices will be able to track and measure data related to all aspects of health including hormone levels, glucose and similar blood analytics. This will be invaluable in presenting an overall representation of health. It will be particularly useful in the management of conditions such as diabetes, inflammatory diseases and migraines for example. Expect lots of development in this space over the next 12 months.
  12. 12. What this means for you Everybody talks about wearables but few people, even at an industry event like MWC, is wearing one. All the device manufacturers have smartwatches and health bands in their stands and there are also lots of companies that we’ve never heard of before offering wearables. There was also a dedicated area for wearables this year which clearly shows the hype. However, the biggest anticipation is the Apple Watch. Rather than speculating about the usefulness of wearables get one or several for yourself and figure out what is useful for you, ask friends how they use them and do your research on successful use cases before investing time and money in wearable apps.
  13. 13. Personalised Customer Experiences Another thing everybody talks about is providing personalised customer experiences based on big data, but few consumer-oriented companies actually do it very well (Amazon being the exception). IBM talks about Watsons, the operators are talking about how their customer data can be used to personalise experience and target offers, the telecom network manufacturers are selling these benefits for the equipment and services while the consultants are talking about how they can support with the strategy and execution.
  14. 14. What this means for you This year we will see a lot of successful and unsuccessful show cases of personalised experiences delivered in-store, on the move and in our homes. Based on our experience this will require a lot of testing, optimization and time to perfect. On wearables and smartwatches this will be particularly important with the small screen as the content needs to be relevant.
  15. 15. 5G At the moment 5G is only conceptually specified but everyone wants to leverage the marketing buzz of 5G. The only thing all the vendors and operators seem to agree on is that we need better and deeper network coverage, more bandwidth, support for an exponential increase in devices, better utilisation of spectrum and lower latency. And hopefully that’s exactly what 5G will do.
  16. 16. What this means for you Unless you’re a network telecommunication provider, don’t worry too much. 5G is expected to launch around 2020 and we will see at least another 10 years for 4G/LTE to continue to improve and serve our needs.
  17. 17. Adtech & Analytics Last year the growth in mobile advertising was close to 100%, but advertising spend is still far behind compared to the increased time people spend on their mobiles. When companies do spend money on mobile advertising however, they want to make sure they are getting return on their investment. The result of this could be seen at this year’s MWC with more and more specialized analytics providers. We thought that this sector had reached is peak, but it’s continuing to develop with the help of more niche analytics tools. Additionally, SK Telecom showed off interactive billboards that can change content based on the audience in front of it. This has the potential of changing the whole way ad targeting in a physical space looks like today.
  18. 18. What this means for you This is an incredibly exciting space and expect to see even more advancements and innovative solutions throughout the year. We expect ad spend to gradually match the time consumers spend on mobile with more detailed analytics being developed to cater for this growing market. Highly targeted media will be used to reach consumers and if done right, this could potentially change the whole way ad targeting in a digital as well as physical space look like over the next year. Re-evaluate the ad networks and tools that you are using today because the technology is rapidly development and so is the ROI. Companies like Adjust, Localytics, Swrl and Kochava that no one had heard about two years ago are now starting to pay key roles in this space.
  19. 19. Security & Privacy Every company would like to give their employees access to company data, but they are concerned about the security when opening up for use of company platforms. The companies that give access often add such a high number of authentication layers that it soon becomes impossible to use. We discovered some new technologies that could help you get around this. A great example was a new form of eye recognition (not using the iris this time, but the blood veins in your eye) which only required a 1 megapixel camera to work. Interesting for banks and other entities that require a high level of security and is operating all around the world, serving employees and clients with shifting maturity levels when it comes to devices.
  20. 20. Security & Privacy (continued) As for privacy, we were constantly tracked via the MWC event app while on the show room floor. The MWC organizer can presumably pinpoint your location down to 3-5 meters. In theory they will be able to see how each visitor using the app is moving around, how much time s/he spends at each stand or the time it takes you to finish the sandwich you had for lunch. Whether this is a good or bad thing we’ll leave unsaid for now. Hopefully the data collected can be leveraged to create an even richer event experience next year! And with congress visitors being concerned about using the public wifi, companies like MYMobileSecurity (disclaimer: DMI client) offered solutions that helped protect your device from malware attacks.
  21. 21. What this means for you With more and more data being collected about us, we are entering unchartered territory in terms of privacy. Measures must be taken to ensure that user data is collected with prior consent and not used for anything other than the original purpose. However, security must also be of the highest concern in both enterprise and consumer data access. With the recent high-profile security breaches, this need has been highlighted time and time again. Privacy and Security professionals are already looking in the best way of balancing the need for data collection and allowing for an adequate level of privacy. The difficulty will be in devising regulations that truly safeguard users in all situations. However, with the dominant enterprise mobility theme being data security and privacy, there will surely be a lot more happening in this part of the mobile industry this year.
  22. 22. Mobile Technology That Saves Lives Finally, we also came across some technology which clearly shows the power of mobility in all areas, including where lives are in danger. Global Warning System (GWS) Ever thought about what to do or where to go if a major incident such as an earthquake, tsunami, war, riot or toxic leak happens while you’re travelling? GWS is an add-on to your travel insurance that uses mobile technology to warn you if something happens in the vicinity (city or country) of where you are and provides localized advise on what to do including recommendations on hospitals and how to get out of the country. Where do we sign up?
  23. 23. Mobile Technology That Saves Lives (continued) Man Down A little bit of self-promotion as DMI demonstrated a “Man Down” solution as part of our innovation lab. This solution monitors field workers, government personnel, security personnel and people in dangerous environments or under threat and provides an alert to a central monitor center in case anything happens that might pose a risk or if the person falls. The system automatically asks the person to confirm if OK using secure biometrics (voice, finger print and eye scanner) and if there is no response it alerts the appropriate authority to the location. The solution works with smartphones as well as wearables and sensors.
  24. 24. In summary we think this was the best and most exciting Mobile World Congress to date. The event proved that it plays a critical role in bringing people together across industries to discuss, experience and influence the future of mobile technology. It also showed how mobility is transforming every industry, our infrastructure, society and our daily lives. We can’t wait until 2016! Let us know if we missed anything from the event that was important to you? Key trends, technologies or companies. Also, don’t miss out on reading our 2015 mobile trends report and other trend updates from the mobile industry.
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