Mobile World Congress: what’s the latest?

Major tech firms such as Samsung, Huawei, Nokia and Telefónica unveil new flagship products and services in Barcelona

Samsung Galaxy S9 was presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (by Andrea Zamorano)
Samsung Galaxy S9 was presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (by Andrea Zamorano) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 26, 2018 02:02 PM

Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress will set the bar for the future of technology in the following days. The congress’ motto makes it clear: “Creating a better future.” New innovations in the realm of artificial intelligence, robotics, drones and augmented reality are set to be hot topics. Among the main trends, the future of 5G technology is highlighted as a vector for the development of the internet of the things, intelligent cities and autonomous driving. Around 2,300 companies will be exhibiting their latest technological innovations. Here are some of the highlights of the main tech firms attending the event.

Aura: Telefónica joins forces with Google and Facebook

The Spanish telecom group Telefónica is launching Aura, a voice assistant that will use Artificial Intelligence to drastically change the relationship with clients. In order to do so, the company is joining forces with tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Clients in Spain will be among the first ones to enjoy this new service, which will allow them to ask questions about their payments, services and data usage live.

Smartphone camera, reimagined by Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung’s new crown jewel was presented in Barcelona on Sunday: the Galaxy S9, a model that “revolutionizes and reimagines” smartphone camera systems. According to the company, the  S9 “will adapt to the environment just like the human eye.” The aperture will vary depending on the physical conditions, ranging from an f-stop of 1.5 for low-light to an aperture of 2.4 for outdoors. The S9, as well as the larger S9 plus, will be available from March 16.

You too can be an emoji

Not only is Samsung transforming the hardware, but it is also bringing the possibilities of the software to new heights. Personalized emojis (AR Emoji) are the perfect example. Samsung users will be able to take a selfie and share an emoji of their own face via Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. Moreover, Samsung is partnering with Disney to create emojis of the firms’ world-famous characters.

Back to the Matrix... with Nokia

In The Matrix, Morpheus offered Neo a choice between a red or blue pill. Nokia chose yellow. The Finnish multinational is bringing back the 8110, a model inspired by the cell phone used by Keanu Reeves in the Wachowskis’ movie. This retro-looking phone will be available in two colors: black and banana-yellow. The Nokia 8110 appeals to the nostalgia of an era when phones had a keyboard and were not small-size computers. Yet, it also keeps up with modern times, and will offer some apps like Facebook and Maps.

Huawei takes on Apple’s MacBook Pro with a hidden camera

A thin and ultra-light laptop, with a 15-hour-long battery and an almost 14 inches screen. With its MateBook X Pro, Huawei attempts to challenge Apple’s MacBook Pro dominance in the laptop market. But it includes a feature that may transform the way computer devices incorporate cameras. Huawei’s model has a camera that hides under a key in the keyboard, which will only be activated when the user wants—an attempt to address privacy concerns.