Mobile technology highlights from Barcelona
March 3, 2014
by Mark Ollig

Many of the mobile communication industries’ biggest players met recently in Barcelona, Spain, for the 2014 MWC (Mobile World Congress).

The MWC is produced by the GSMA (Group Special Mobile Association), located in London.

The GSMA “represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 of the world’s operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem,” according to its Twitter page.

This year’s MWC showcased the latest mobile products and technology for those in Barcelona, and for a world-wide online audience, who watched its live-streaming video, and interacted via social media.

The people attending in Barcelona, and interacting online, exchanged ideas and participated in social networking.

Some 1,700 exhibits and displays featuring cutting-edge technology were presented.

Introductions of new mobile devices, by several mobile communication companies, were made.

Keynote speakers included CEOs from Facebook, AT&T, Cisco, IBM, and others.

Approximately 72,500 people, from over 200 countries, attended this conference.

MWC broke down the attendance percentages from each area of the globe:

Europe: 62 percent

North America: 15 percent

Asia Pacific: 13 percent

Middle East: 5 percent

Latin America: 3 percent

Africa: 2 percent

Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg spoke about how the Internet, and everything it has to offer, is accessible to only one-third of the world’s population.

He said it needs to be made available to the majority of people around the world.

Zuckerberg questioned why the other two-thirds of the world’s population do not have Internet access.

He mentioned how one Internet organization, which is supported by some of the world’s leading technology and mobile service providers, is working to help make the Internet available to those without access.

This organization’s website is located at: http://www.internet.org.

During this year’s MWC, Sony presented their new Xperia Z2 10.1-inch computing tablet featuring a “Live Color LED” display. This mobile device includes a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.3GHz, an Android 4.4 operating system, 3GB of RAM, high-definition screen resolution, and an 8-megapixel camera.

At .25-inches thick, the Xperia Z2 is thinner than Apple’s iPad 2 (.35-inches), and weighs just under a pound, as compared to 1.33 pounds for the iPad 2.

This new tablet is waterproof; rubberized flaps cover the main ports and microSD (Secure Digital) memory card slot.

Samsung Electronics revealed a new item at MWC 2014.

They presented a wrist-wearable called Gear Fit, which resembles a smart watch.

Gear Fit tracks one’s movement, heart rate, and sleep patterns, and includes a timer and stopwatch.

This wearable technology also provides instant phone call, SMS (Short Message Service – texting), and email notifications from a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

All features are easily viewable on the Gear Fit’s curved OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen.

A wearer can also listen to music using Bluetooth.

Gear Fit has changeable wrist straps in black, orange, and mocha grey.

Did I mention it’s waterproof, and has a digital LED time and date display?

Smart sensor technology sewn into our clothing, which yours truly wrote about in 2012, is getting closer to becoming a reality.

French basketball club, PABA (Pays d’Aix Basket Aspttis) exhibited smart-sensing sportswear during the MWC.

A French company, Cityzen Sciences, designed the micro-technology woven into the fabric of an individual player’s basketball shirts which collects data, and monitors their health biometrics.

A player’s heart rate, respiration, and body heat data is delivered to a team manager’s location via mobile broadband. This information provides individual player information to help improve team performance, and keep aware of a player’s current physical condition.

Cityzen Sciences is also working on a way to recharge the smart fabric’s energy source while it is being cleaned in the washing machine.

A video showing a smart-sensing, digital shirt in action can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/bytes-smartfabric.

The company’s Twitter handle is: @CityzenSciences. Its website is: http://www.cityzensciences.fr.

So, what does the future of mobile social-networking look like for consumers and business?

For one thing, businesses are realizing they need more than just a website and a social media presence to attract and retain customers.

Advanced interactive software apps (applications), installed in our smart devices, operate over an increasingly robust, wireless, mobile, broadband technology.

These enhanced apps and upgraded technologies are bringing us into the next mobile paradigm shift, called “mobile engagement.”

Mobile engagements between a business and consumer are carried out via enhanced apps on smartphones and tablet-like devices.

One example of mobile engagement: a brick-and-mortar retail shop attracts folks by alerting them to products and services through the app on their mobile devices.

Consumers can be notified of, and respond to a particular store’s “Sales and Specials” via their mobile device when they are nearby, or while shopping inside.

Forbes has said mobile engagement services will become a $30 billion industry by 2018.

The Mobile World Congress’ website is: http://www.mobileworldcongress.com.

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