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Mobile World Congress 2017

A closer look at the future of mobility and communications services

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is a highly-awaited tech event that brings together over 2000 operators, including software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as companies in adjacent industry sectors, to showcase new and innovative services and products to over 100,000 participants.

The MWC 2017, which now covers the entire mobile communications ecosystem from cellular phones to telematics, showcased how mobile services continue to evolve and have become deeply embedded in our lives, whether we are at home, at work or in our cars.

Telematics Solutions

As the cusp between mobile services and connected cars, telematics continues to play a prominent role at the Mobile World Congress, where Octo Telematics Company Omoove presented EasyOpen, a revolutionary system that allows smartphones to operate as car keys.

Other telematics products presented at MWC 2017 include in-car fuel payment systems that allow drivers to use on-board touchscreens to pay for gas and last generation geo-location and satellite navigation services that exploit artificial intelligence and big data to provide drivers with satnav systems that determine the quickest and safest routes based on real-time traffic, weather and road conditions.

Another interesting presentation was that of an entirely electric, driverless racing car prototype that can reach speeds up to 320 km/h. While this is certainly a niche product for Formula E races, the open software platform may prove quite interesting for testing telematics services on connected and self-driving cars.

5G Networks

Although the new 5G communication standard has not been officially released yet, it was one of the main features of the event; indeed, many of the products and services presented at MWC 2017 are based on the evolution of our current communication standard.

5G Networks will allow transfer speeds of 10 Gbit/second, which is over ten times faster than the current LTE/4G standard, allowing an exponential increase in the information shared amongst connected vehicles and smart infrastructure in the greater Internet of Things.

Indeed, another interesting demo, blurring the confines between videogames and augmented reality, demonstrated how the new network standard allows real vehicles to be piloted remotely via a video interface.

Augmented Reality

Following closely on the heels of mobile devices and connected vehicles, augmented reality remains a strong player on the horizon of future digital and telematics services. The exponential increase in the amount of big data collected by on-board sensors provides artificial intelligence systems with the opportunity to model, monitor, analyse and recreate real experiences that are used to drive the development of a future landscape dominated by connected cars and self-driving vehicles.

Other interesting applications of augmented reality include applications and wearable devices that allow individuals with various types of disabilities to conduct everyday functions such as driving a car.

Urban Aesthetics

An Italian company presented an elegant new modular mobile antennae model based on colourful triangular elements that stack in a tower and which can also house useful components to power smart city infrastructure such as photovoltaic chargers and Aeolic generators, a welcome improvement to the current aesthetics of the cellular antennae that will become increasing ubiquitous in our smart cities.

For further information: Mobile World Congress

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