Connected Tech Woos Crowds at Mobile World Congress

What the mobile ecosystem predicts consumers will wear, carry and ride in 2024 and beyond

Berenice Baker, Editor

March 4, 2024

4 Min Read
Image of two VR gamers
Telefonica displayed immersive haptic-enhanced VR gaming.Telefonica

Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2024 has just concluded after four days of connectivity, with industry leaders offering insight into the priorities for the mobile ecosystem and its customers.

“MWC Barcelona embodies the energy and vibrancy of the mobile ecosystem,” said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, the organization for mobile operators that hosts MWC. “We are honored to host this special event which once again has delivered an exceptional four days of debate, thought leadership, inspiration and deal-making,”

This year saw 101,000 attendees from 205 countries and territories pass through the vast halls of Fira Gran Vira to learn from 1,100 speakers and thought leaders and do business with 2,700 exhibitors.

Away from the stages, leading technology companies showcased their latest products. Here are some of the most eye-catching:

Gaming often pushes the boundaries of the possible before industry gets on board. Spanish telecommunications operator Telefónica has developed a multi-sensory immersive gaming experience combining extended reality graphics and haptic sensory technology.

Gamers competed in a futuristic, high-definition virtual world where they engaged in a dynamic and immersive one-on-one battle in an immersive extended reality (XR). It combined virtual reality and haptic technology to give touch-related sensations.

3D image rendering took place using the Unreal 5 graphics engine in Nvidia’s cloud, executed in edge computing centers connected to the operator’s network via low-latency fiber.

Lenovo’s Transparent Laptop

A leak of eye-opening photos ahead of the event had crowds flocking to experience Lenovo’s futuristic proof-of-concept laptop, the ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept. Lenovo says it is the industry’s first laptop with a 17.3-inch Micro-LED transparent display, providing a completely borderless and see-through display experience.

Lenovo’s display technology innovations did not stop there. Its subsidiary Motorola melted the boundaries between smartwatches and phones with a proof-of-concept adaptive display phone that can be bent into a variety of forms to stand on a desk or be worn wrapped around the wrist.

It uses an FHD+ pOLED display and, while functionality is limited while flexed and when laid flat, the 6.9″ display runs a standard Android experience. 

Samsung’s AI Tools and Galaxy Ring

Apple famously does not participate in MWC, and while the iOS cat is away, the Android mice get to play. Samsung has overtaken Apple as the world’s top smartphone seller, and it made the most of its moment in the spotlight with a gigantic, multi-platform booth.

The Galaxy S24 phone is not super-new; it was first released earlier this year, but its AI features were very much in keeping with the dominant theme of MWC. They include Live Translate for two-way, real-time translations of phone calls and messaging, Circle to Search with Google tool for quick and easy searching and Generative Edit allows a user to freely resize or reposition subjects within photos. If you have ever lost the corners of a photo when straightening it, this feature will reimagine them for you and remove unwanted people or objects.Over in its health monitoring section, Samsung displayed the highly anticipated Galaxy Ring, first previewed during Galaxy Unpacked 2024 in January.

Flying Cars and Taxis

No tech show in 2024 would be complete without its share of flying vehicles, and MWC was no exception. Two standout exhibits were the Alef concept flying car concept and the Joby flying taxi.

Alef Aeronautics has its sights set on developing a road-legal passenger flying car, capable of achieving vertical takeoff and forward flight. Alef came out of stealth mode in 2022 and has since received 2,850 pre-orders in less than a year.

Joby Aviation partnered with SK Telecom to showcase its five-seat electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle in Europe for the first time at MWC. The display included a wraparound screen and an audio track simulating the communications, broadcasts and calendar schedule to offer an immersive impression of what a passenger might experience on the flight to the office.

Joby and SKT have partnered to introduce emissions-free air taxi services to cities and communities across South Korea, in support of the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) roadmap.

This article is from sister publication Enter Quantum. To get the latest Quantum news, research, videos and other content,sign up for EQ's newsletter.

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About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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