2017-03-13, 14:03 Posted by: Jörgen Nilsson

Impressions from MWC 2017

This year I had the opportunity to attend to the world´s largest exhibition within telecommunications Mobile World Congress or MWC.

MWC has over a staggering 100.000 attendees and more than 2.000 exhibitors. Needless to say the amount of impressions are overwhelming and it is easy to get lost in the gigantic halls that shows everything from connected baby blankets to 5G antennas.

I think that Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is a really exciting area where we will see many new areas of usage from military to medical and pure amusement. So what was the highlights from this year? Below I have separated VR and AR since they differ a lot in speed of progress and areas of usage.

VR

It is clear that many companies and developers find VR interesting and believe that the market will grow over the years. However, this was not a year of great leaps in VR use or technology development. IEEE, an organization primarily known for standardizing protocols and processes showcased what could be done with VR and lifted the issue of a standardization within VR development. Fraunhofer, a German institute best known for patenting the MP3 music format, showcased clever ways to compress VR data and only show full definition at the area where the user is looking. Other than that, most companies showing VR connected it to some kind of amusement. Samsung had several VR rollercoasters where the user was strapped into a seat moving 360 degrees in all axles having the VR show an acrobat airplane going for loops and rolls at an Air Race.

The most interesting pick from my side was how Nokia made it possible for a user to attend in real time to a meeting without being there. Nokia had set up a 360 camera in one corner of their stand and a VR headset in another. The feeling of being at the spot of the 360 camera while using the headset was almost surreal. I believe we will see 360 cameras in meeting rooms where the old projector used to be, allowing meeting attendees having a high presence meeting at a distance.

AR

Augmented reality requires a lot less HW than Virtual reality which means that probably, we will initially see more AR solutions the coming years than VR ones. Google has an interesting solution, Tango, which allows you to

I don´t know how many samples of Hololens there was on the exhibition, let´s say many. And I would be surprised if there aren´t a number of similar products within short. Intel used it to show how they connected a car with their 5G network. For many a somewhat abstract solution that was made a lot more comprehensive due to the augmented graphics you get from Hololens.

Sony showed a portable projector that you could control at the same way as a touchscreen, i.e. interact with the projected image. It is called the Sony Xperia Touch. Sure the resolution isn’t the best and the battery time is a bit low to make real use of but here I see a real potential! I believe most of you have seen the SciFi movie “Minority Report” For me it was easy to see this as the first small steps towards exciting  solutions with interactions on surfaces and with gesture control. I can´t wait to see the second or third generation of this product!

I hope you found my picks interesting and relevant. One thing is for sure, the rate of innovation is high and we will see a lot of interesting innovations within VR and AR the coming years.


MWC2017, VR, AR, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality
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