Nearly 100,000 people made their way to Barcelona last month for one of the mobile industry’s biggest trade shows: Mobile World Congress (MWC). While it’s a perfect opportunity for tech giants to launch their new smartphones (namely, Samsung with its two new Galaxy devices and Microsoft with its cheaper alternatives), gadgets and gismos weren’t the only talking point. Agencies and media companies are also being summoned to the event to work out what the latest mobile innovations mean for their brand clients, and how they could deliver more personalised experiences across various devices. Here are a few of the key takeaways:
Wearables that are actually wearable
The launches at this year’s MWC prove that smartwatches are no longer focused on utility over fashion. Perhaps inspired by the stylish design of the Apple Watch, the possibility of wearable technology becoming mainstream is a reality (LG’s Watch Urbane was particularly eye-catching). This opens up exciting opportunities for marketers to strengthen relationships with clients via their wrists.
5G is coming
Although it probably won’t be available for another five years or so, 5G is considered a crucial element in the Internet of Things. Analysts are estimating that by 2020 the number of networked devices will have skyrocketed to 25 billion, compared to around 5 billion currently.
The payments war
I discussed Apple Pay in my last post, but the MWC showcased other contenders – Samsung Pay and Android Pay, for example. And not forgetting PayPal, which also launched a new NFC reader. Visa announced a partnership with Samsung Pay, and revealed that it sees cars as vital part of the “ambient experience” for consumers. In fact, the stage floor was home to several vehicles, as automakers look to mobile and a connected-device strategy.
As mobile technology advances, brands will undoubtedly become more visible to the wider world. What were your key takeaways from MWC 2015?