This year we’ve seen some pretty fascinating technology being showcased at Mobile World Congress 2013, and while I’d like to say all of them are my favorite there are some that I would have to say impress me over others. It was a tough decision narrowing down my top five favorites, but I think after careful considering I’ve figured out exactly where to place each one.
5. Galaxy Note 8.0
A couple of days ago I had already talked about my opinions on the Galaxy Note 8, but I still feel that it deserves a place on my “Top 5” list as I think this was a good move coming from Samsung. Taking the idea behind the Galaxy Note series and making a mid-size tablet out of it shows that Samsung realizes that while the Note 2 is incredibly successful, it’s “phone first, tablet second” basis is not for everybody. Including a product in their lineup that is designed to function as a tablet first (and phone second) instead of the other way around will have no trouble selling in my opinion, especially with the convenience of the S-Pen. The importance of a stylus in smartphones and tablets seem like a lost art as more people become comfortable working with touchscreens without their help, but for people who need to use their tablet for sketches or taking notes a stylus is a must-have feature.
4. Wi-Fi Coffee Maker
While not technically a real product, the Wi-Fi Coffee Maker showcased by Qualcomm was made to represent how easily we can use our smartphones and tablets to control different components around the home. As a caffeine addict who lives on coffee and water this idea was actually one of my favorites to see as the dreams of easier multitasking flitted across my brain. This probably would have made it higher up on my list had it been a real prototype for a product that was for sure going to hit the market (although I’m sure one is in the works somewhere) but since it is yet to be confirmed, it can stay at number four as a reminder that our technology is heading towards an interesting direction for those who need to multitask.
… Or for those who don’t want to get out of bed in the morning (yours truly).
3. LG’s 4K Phone
This device that was on demo featured LG’s new technology that projects Ultra HD graphics on a large screen through a 4K feed. This is truly a breakthrough for mobile gaming. You control the game through your phone and it projects onto a TV with crisp and clear graphics and almost no lag between the phone and the TV screen - it works kind of like a Wii U. The only problem with this device right now is that the processor in the device gets under a heavy load of work and becomes hot when used for too long. The device was only a prototype and definitely needs work before actually being released to the public. Nonetheless, the direction of mobile gaming is moving forward very quickly and as a gamer I was very pleased to see that demo at least worked, even if it did start to turn the device into a molten puddle of hopes and dreams.
2. Nvidia Tegra 4 and 4i Processors
Going along with the previous topic of the future of gaming in smartphones we also got a preview of the new Nvidia Tegra 4 and 4i processors. These processors are said to help improve the battery life of those devices using the processors – supposedly by about 25% - while being able to supply superb graphics at the same time. This is definitely another step in the right direction for those interested in HD graphics in gaming on smartphones. The graphics seen on the demo videos of the processors were crisp, clear, and very smooth. While I can't verify if the battery life is actually saved, I will say that at least in theory it sounds good.
1. The Touchless Touch Screen
Now that’s an oxymoron if I ever saw one: a touchless touch screen – how does that even work? Don’t you have to touch the screen for it to be considered a touch screen? Apparently not, as chipmaker STMicroelectronics had a display that allowed guests to tinker with this new (but not really new) type of display. While several reports of “touchless touch screens” have been reported to be made in the past, none of them have really come into fruition in any products on the market today. The display works with sensor that detects motion that enters its electromagnetic field. It then corresponds with the actual touchscreen below it and allows users to control the device without actually having to touch it. At first I didn’t see a point to the technology other than maybe preventing fingerprints from interfering with the clarity of the display, but as it turns out it works with all types of objects and not just human hands or objects that give off heat. This technology can be very useful for use with pencils or even prosthetic limbs. The fact that this enables people who might not have been able to enjoy smartphones before to be able to enjoy them now is what puts this showcase at my number one spot.
So there you have it. These are my top 5 favorites that I’ve seen at MWC so far – but enough about me! Let’s hear more about you. What are some of your favorite showcases that you’ve seen during MWC 2013 this year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!