As this year’s instalment of Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress entered the final straight and the thousands in attendance slowly fled the city by train, plane and automobile you can’t help but ponder over a few issues. That is a journalist’s job after all!
First of all, what trends have we noticed occurring that may well shape MWC 2016? Technology can be hard to predict at the best of times, but there are particular patterns that should emerge as the months go by.
Before we go ahead with this… I got my picture taken on the Iron Throne. You may pay tribute to me later.
First off, there’s no escaping the fact that the much heralded Internet of Things is well and truly here. Evidence of that was available just by attending MWC; the low-level hum of interconnectedness coursed through the veins and arteries of La Fia Gran Via was a reminder of that.
Virtual Reality and 3D, despite many attempts to get it off the ground, looks like it might be finally here to stay. We’ve witnessed enough abortive attempts to bring the third dimension to cinema and games, but it looks we may finally be on the right path.
The efforts of Britain’s Microgaming (which I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about on my Day Two report) have been noted. Let’s hope a slew of other would be competitors can pick up the pace too.
Perhaps the third most notable trend I discovered is the sudden need for a proliferation of security devices/platforms and those that offer total encryption. We spoke briefly about Brazilian company Sikur and their p2p-esque encryption systems in one of our previous reports. The speed at which their own mobile phone pre-orders sold out proves the market is bustling for such preventative platforms.
In the age of Snowden, surveillance and the general mis-trust with which we view our governments, encryption really is the key.
One final point, which may or may not be covered by the reams of journalists who traipsed through the huge exhibition halls, is that none of these companies ever seem to offer a Plan B for a dip in economic fortunes. We are forever expecting unlimited and sustainable growth.
We understand that it generally isn’t good for business to tell customers and investors to expect bad things to happen, but a little realism, or an understanding of how the world works, wouldn’t go amiss.
Still, that’s not for us to decide. It’s a mere observation. Regardless of realism vs cynicism, Mobile World Congress 2016 promises to be even bigger and better.