Also this year the Mobile World Congress showcased the latest news from the world mobile, from network infrastructures to tools to make work ever smarter, from gadgets to entertainment. In our opinion, a fair that this year did not bring – despite growing participation and always very crowded stands – a particular breath of novelty and innovation. Perhaps it causes the contraction of the sector, after the years of the pandemic which marked a real boom for the electronics market. But what are the trends that characterized the fair and that will accompany us throughout the year?
The new year under the banner of viewers
There are foldable smartphones, there is gaming, robotics, electric mobility, the expansion of 5G but above all virtual and augmented reality. The viewers and 3D screens were in fact the real protagonists of the fair and the pavilions were filled with demonstrations. Starting with TCL which brought glasses with transparent lenses for augmented reality to Barcelona which allowed us, for example, to converse with a Chinese girl by reading the translation of her words before our eyes. Smart glasses also for HUAWEI – the Vision Glass – capable of projecting a 120-inch screen in front of our eyes. While from ZTE comes the Nubia 3D Pad, which allows you to enjoy three-dimensional vision without having to wear goggles.
Between super-fast networks and digital twins
Ericsson – one of the leaders in network infrastructure – brought to Barcelona numerous demonstrations of 5G technology and also of the future 6G technology, as explained by Andrea Missori, managing director for Italy: “5G networks need efficiency, to carry much more data with a lower energy consumption. Our message is to try to miniaturize the network to make it more efficient and sustainable. The other message is to monetize 5G: there are countries in the world that now have enormous penetration and are monetizing, are bringing money to operators with specific use cases, with features that we demonstrate here – I’m thinking of Australia, Korea, to the United States – and there are a number of cases that are already on the net and can be taken and replicated. The third point looks to the future: it is the use of APIs, network APIs, to extract intelligence from the operators’ network to offer a unique capacity to those who may need it from an over the top point of view. Let me give you an example: the ability to present a quality of service independent of the operator and the country in which it operates to the player who needs to make quality videoconferences, thus getting paid for this type of capability”.
Ultra-fast networks also increasingly enable the expansion of virtual twins, i.e. the digital representation of something that exists in the real world. A technology now used in medicine, to carry out clinical pre-tests, and in industry: using a viewer, Dassault Systèmes has shown us, for example, how to design a secure and sustainable network infrastructure inside a hangar without move from the desk (here our service on the virtual twin).
The Chinese giant ZTE has also introduced many innovations at the infrastructure level, as Hu Kun, CEO of ZTE for Italy and president of ZTE Western Europe, explains to Sky TG24: “Our slogan this year is Shaping the Digital Innovation, shaping the digital revolution. Through high-level solutions we are focused on ultra-efficient networks and with new cutting-edge technologies we aim to build a very solid digital platform, going beyond the limits in terms of capacity and scope of the network and services”. During an interesting chat, ZTE technicians showed us the future of the internet at home, the Fiber To The Room; then a solution that makes radio sites more efficient by reducing their power when they are not used and also a new type of fiber, hollow, which allows even faster connections from one side of the planet to the other.
And speaking of speed, modems that take advantage of the new Wi-Fi 7 network are starting to appear, with very high connection speeds and increasingly compatible with smart home ecosystems, such as those of AVM: there is the FritzBox 5690 Pro which combines two technologies, fiber and ADSL in a single device and has integrated Wi-Fi 7; there is the 5690 with XGS capable of supporting speeds up to 10 GBps, there is the 6680 which is a product that creates a home internet network starting from the 5G cellular connection. “We use the internet, the cloud, various applications more and more and this means that we need more and more bandwidth and speed. Our devices are already ready for Wi-Fi 7 and the main devices that will support it will be launched by the various vendors in the coming months”, tells us Gianni Garita, Country Manager for Italy of the German company.
Increasingly powerful and performing smartphones
Mainly three new smartphones were launched at the Mobile World Congress. Let’s start from Xiaomi who presented the 13 Series which boasts the collaboration with Leica, a leading German company in the production of optics and photographic equipment, an ultra-fast recharge in just 19 minutes and the latest Qualcomm processor. A phone that the company does not hesitate to define a masterpiece, as Davide Lunardelli, Head of Marketing of the Chinese company for Italy also tells us: “Our masterpiece are the smartphones we have presented, which offer a complete flaghsip experience and thanks to the collaboration with Leica at the hardware and software level we bring a superior viewing experience to the smartphone format. In a grand-style launch Xiaomi – a company that has hundreds of smart products in its catalog, from air fryers to TVs, from electric toothbrushes to televisions – presented new headphones (the Buds 4 Pro), a new smartwatch (the Watch S1 Pro) an interesting update of his electric scooter Mi Electric Scooter.
Other buzz-worthy launches include HONOR’s Magic5 Pro, a triple-camera smartphone that took first place in the DXOMARK global camera rankings and also boasts a feature that simulates natural light to relieve fatigue of the eyes and induces sleep in the evening, following the circadian rhythm. The first folding marketed outside China also arrives from HONOR: it is called HONOR Magic Vs, it appears thin, compact and solid and is designed for those who work on the move and for entertainment.
Global launch also for realme which brought its new top of the range to Barcelona – the GT3 – which includes the fastest charging power in the world (the battery goes from 0 to 100 percent in less than 10 minutes) and a rear cover with light effects based on notifications, incoming calls, charge level.
Finally, among the novelties of HUAWEI there is Watch Buds: a smartwatch that opens and houses a pair of super-light headphones inside.
The most interesting ideas on display
Among the technologies that have impressed us the most is the Motorola concept of a smartphone with a retractable screen, which changes size based on the displayed content. A technology also applicable to laptops.
From TCL comes the phone with a screen that looks like paper, the second generation NXTPaper Phone: not being backlit, it doesn’t tire the eyes.
To demonstrate the photographic potential of its new S23 line, Samsung recreated a lunar surface and photographed visitors to the fair by projecting their portraits onto a wall made of screens. While a quadcopter for the transport of people enthralled hundreds of visitors, who diligently spent several hours in line to be able to try out the experience of a type of city electric mobility which, perhaps in thirty years time, could supplant buses.
Also interesting is the Ericsson concept which, to start talking about future 6G networks, presented a project (“Energy Harvesting”) which allows, through chips installed on clothes, to store energy from the radio waves present in the air, using it to recharge smartphones and laptops.
Nokiafinally, for the occasion, it redid its look and announced the shift of the production of 5G devices to Europe, presenting the G22, the first smartphone that can be repaired by oneself at home.
The news of Italian companies and startups
Finally, Italy does not stand by and brings with it, as always, many startups and innovative ideas. Among those that most impressed us is Carepet by Domethics: a cushion that can monitor the health of dogs and cats and identify diseases early. And the main manufacturers of accessories are also Italian: from Celly, which is showing a smartwatch for children in Barcelona, new accessories with the Magsafe attachment system and a GPS tracker so you don’t lose your personal belongings, to SBS, which offers a power bank in graphene, products for solar energy recharging and for personalizing PCs and smartphones with photos and images.