Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is almost coming to a close.
The huge trade event played host to 2,000 exhibitors — ranging from well-known brands like Samsung and HTC showing off their virtual reality headsets, to smaller firms with cool robotics and “internet of things” applications. Unlike other years, the newly announced phones were almost secondary to the other cool gadgets on show.
There’s a lot to take in and the event can be difficult to navigate. Business Insider jumped on a tour of the venue with ad agency Havas Media’s SVP of strategy and innovation, Tom Goodwin, and its global head of creative technology, Jez Jowett, to be pointed to some of the best tech on display.
The Steam-powered headset goes on sale on February 29 and will cost $799. It's most likely to appeal to gamers. This guy trialling Vive looked like he was playing a kind of shoot-em-up game.
You can't go to a tech trade show and not see an internet-connected fridge. MasterCard was showcasing one on its stand.
AT&T's stand centered around the 'internet of things' trend -- such as installing a tracking device to find out where your luggage is if you don't trust your airline.
Over in 'Innovation City,' MasterCard was showcasing how you can turn any piece of clothing -- your sunglasses, jacket, or handbag -- into a payment device. 'That will never happen in Britain,' Goodwin joked.
Korea Telecom was showing off a dashboard that can immediately recognise all the objects on the street as you drive, from other cars, to stores and landmarks.
Samsung made a huge play this year around its Gear virtual reality headset, which will be shipped free with pre-orders of its S7 smartphone (also unveiled at the show.) The Korean tech company set up a huge, moving VR rollercoaster experience. Queues to have a go were out of the door every single day. The experience was clearly quite realistic: You often heard screams as you walked past the stand.
SK Telecom also showed off the 'BallReady' -- a kind of doggy treadmill that will throw a ball to your dog when you're not at home to play fetch. 'Smart pets' was the emerging trend this table was attempting to demonstrate, with other devices designed to track your pet's activity.
Pepper is the emotion-reading robot designed by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank Mobile. She was over on the IBM stand.
This is the LG rolling bot, smart balls controlled by your smartphone that can entertain your pets and play your voice back to them when you're not around. It also serves as a home monitoring camera.
LG was also showing off a 'modular phone' concept that allows you to take your phone apart and upgrade elements like the battery or the camera when better upgrades come to market.
Google took up an outdoor area with this Android Garden where you could charge your phone, drink a smoothie, and collect 87 Android pin badges that were released at regular intervals throughout the event.
Ericsson's stand was enormous. It had its own cafe and lots of interesting tech on show like this solar-powered car.
Ericsson thinks the 'future of driving' is self-driving vehicles with huge in-car entertainment screens and chairs that can be swiveled around so you can chat to the passengers behind you.
VirtualSky was showcasing programmatic virtual reality advertising. The technology is already live and it's currently working with charities to release VR ads where you can experience what it's like to walk miles every day for clean water, for example. VR ads from ecommerce companies are on the way soon, Virtual Sky's chief marketing officer, Cameron V. Peebles told us.
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