Acuity at MWC: Key trends that we saw

Underlining our expansive experience in the mobile segment and an eagerness to continue making inroads in this dynamic market, Acuity attended the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona last week. With mobile M&A activity especially buoyant over the past year and segments such as wearable tech and FinTech entering the mainstream, the MWC was a hubbub of innovation and enterprise. Here are some key trends we noticed that will have a major impact on the continued growth of the mobile space.

5G

A rather predictable name for the successor to 4G but its capability is a little more engaging. The main improvement is download speed. Wave goodbye to streaming video lag and say hello to instant app updates. Crucially, 5G will usher in shorter communication delays which in turn will enable super-fast-response services like augmented reality and even self-driving cars. The only downside? It’s likely we won’t get the infrastructure and handsets for another five years.

5G is being seen in terms of a user experience defined by a feeling of unlimited capacity and coverage. Enabling an all-IP (rather than traditional voice) experience with the required capacity and coverage requires a top to tail investment in the mobile networks – from the edge right through to the core.

Smarter Watches

The Apple Watch is soon to be in the shops and to pre-empt that launch there are plenty of rivals who want to beat them to the punch. The difference between these and previous smart watches is that they look much more like conventional luxury timepieces (so essentially copying what Apple have done). The two versions that stand out are the LG Urbane and the Huawei Watch which come in a range of colours and straps. But the features they offer appear to be pretty similar to those of the Apple Watch with no killer applications to genuinely set them apart.

Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift began the virtual reality trend at CES a few years ago and now it looks like there are many more trying to jump on the bandwagon. The best of the bunch? The HTC Vive.In fairness, the unit itself still looks at little clunky but given it’s a prototype it will have improved enormously by the time it reaches the consumer.

IoT to IoE

As we quickly move from the Internet of Things (IoT) to the Internet of Everything (IoE), this is best epitomised by those purveyors of inexpensive DIY furniture, IKEA (yes, you read that right). They unveiled their ‘Home Smart’ collection of wireless charging furniture including bedside tables, lamps and desks. Basically you place your device on an area denoted with a large + symbol and as if by magic, it shall be charged. Unless you have an iPhone, which isn’t compatible with their chosen Qi platform.

Storage Capability

A micro-SD card was launched by SanDisk. It can fit a mind-warping 200GB of data on it. Want to put that in real terms? It can store up to 20 hours of video content – on something no bigger than the size of the nail on your pinky finger. Who needs the cloud?

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