3 Trends from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Every year thousands of people descend on Barcelona to see what is new in the world of mobile.  In the past, that meant rows of smartphones and tablets….and not much else.  In 2016, Mobile World Congress looks different.  The reason is that “mobile” now means more than just phones.  So here are three trends shaping “mobile” for the next few years:

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  1. Virtual Reality – It is not just Facebook that is excited about 360 degree VR video. Stand after stand had some kind of headset, allowing businessmen from all of the world to look ridiculous as they jerk their heads around to whatever they are watching.  What does this mean? Virtual Reality is not yet mainstream, but it will be soon. Already devices like the Ricoh Theta S are making it affordable to put 360 degree video on Facebook and Youtube.  The headsets take it to the next level, immersing the viewer in the experience.  The challenge for journalists, marketers and content creators, is to make something compelling to watch.

2. 5G – If you think your current wireless internet speed is pretty good, imagine what it would be like if it was 100 times faster!  That is what 5G promises to deliver. It is only four years away and promises to shake up how quickly we can upload and download.  Remember when watching a video online suddenly became possible through faster speeds?  5G will change our habits even more than that did.

3. IOT – After four days of hearing it repeatedly, I actually started to get annoyed by the term IOT.  It stands for “internet of things”.  That means that it won’t just be mobile devices and computers that connect to the internet. Increasingly cars, machinery, household appliances and wearable technology will all be connected.  It means we will get data we could never access before.  We can then track pretty much anything from how well a machine is running and throw information onto car windscreens and motorcycle crash helmets.  It is all very cool stuff, but you do wonder if privacy will become an even bigger problem, when everything is connected to the internet.

So those are the three things that stood out for me. These three will change how we make and access content in the future, so I plan to keep any eye on all three trends.

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