Photos: Top tech from Mobile World Congress 2015

From smart luggage and furniture to immersive experiences and locked-down smartphone systems, the annual mobile technology showcase fails to disappoint.

on Mar 03 2015 01:30PM

Huawei has made a number of announcements at Mobile World Congress so far, but one of the more interesting is MirrorSys. Though presently a prototype, it is a telepresence system that is designed to provide an experience so immersive that users believe they are in the world displayed on the screen. The screen itself is a “220-inch diagonal display with a resolution that matches human visual acuity at a distance of 2.4 metres”. It boasts “8K ultra high definition video with a 110-degree-wide viewing angle, along with a 22.2 channel sound field with imperceptible latency”.
Ford Motor Company unveiled two electric bicycle prototypes. The MoDe:Me is foldable and intended for commuters, while the MoDe:Pro could be used by couriers and the like. They are equipped with a mountain of technology, including rear-facing ultrasonic sensors to alert the cyclist when a vehicle is overtaking (it vibrates the handlebars and turns on lights to get your attention). There are a number of navigation aids, as well as a ‘No Sweat’ mode that reduces the need to pedal so riders don’t arrive at work too sweaty.
Japan’s Fujitsu is capturing much attention for its prototype smartphone that can be unlocked using iris authentication. The iris pattern is read “by shining an infrared LED light on the [user’s] eyes and taking an image of them with an infrared camera to acquire the iris pattern”. The system incorporates software developed by a partner, Delta ID. A video published in Japanese suggests that in addition to unlocking the phone, users could rely on iris authentication in future to log in to web services or games, and to authorise music purchases.
Born from a very successful crowdfunding campaign, Bluesmart is a piece of carry-on luggage that can be locked, weighed and tracked using a smartphone. Thanks to Mobile World Congress 2015, we now know that the bags will incorporate a Telefonica SIM that provides machine-to-machine connectivity. <i>The Next Web</i> reports that the agreement will ensure the suitcases work regardless of where they are in the world. Gives new meaning to the Internet of Things.
Privacy-focused Silent Circle used Mobile World Congress to tout the development of what it is calling “the world’s first enterprise privacy platform”. It will consist of software, services and products, some of which were unveiled at the show. They include the forthcoming Blackphone 2 and Blackphone+ devices – which run a “fortified” version of Google’s Android OS called PrivatOS. A new version of the OS was released that includes Spaces, “an OS-level virtualisation and management solution that enables devices to be used for all aspects of mobile life”.
Samsung unveiled two new smartphones – the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge (pictured). The Edge has a display that is curved on both sides – a “world first” – and each device weighs around 130 grams. They each come with a 5.1-inch super AMOLED screen, a 5MP front camera and 16MP rear camera.
Among Lenovo’s device haul is a pocket projector that snaps onto your Android smartphone and can project files – photos, business presentations and so on – up to 110-inches in size on a wall. The projector also contains dual speakers to cast sound. Aside from the Android devices it snaps onto, it can also work wirelessly with Windows Phone or iOS devices, as long as the devices support the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) networking protocol.
Swedish furniture maker IKEA unveiled a range of bedside tables, lamps and desks that can wirelessly charge devices. The furniture uses the Qi wireless charging standard, which is used by around 80 smartphones including Google Nexus and some Nokia Lumia devices. The furniture will be available in Australia sometime after April 2015.