PHOTOS: The coolest tech at Mobile World Congress

IBM PepperBusiness Insider/Lara O’ReillyTrade show favourite, Pepper, showed her face again at Mobile World Congress 2016.

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.

Here's Goodwin and Jowett leading us around. They clearly got the memo about the white shirt.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

HTC's stand in Hall 7 was almost entirely dedicated to its virtual reality headset Vive.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

You can't go to a tech trade show and not see an internet-connected fridge. MasterCard was showcasing one on its stand.

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Treat your dog to a GoPro!

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Outside was the Intel drone zone.

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Intel's stand indoors was a hive of activity.

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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.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

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Ski in the warm with Korea Telecom's VR skiing experience.

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Nokia was showing off some 5G-connected autonomous cars, which whizzed around this track.

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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 pitched up with a submarine VR experience.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

Pepper is the emotion-reading robot designed by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank Mobile. She was over on the IBM stand.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

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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.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

LG also had a VR rollercoaster.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

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Throughout the show, it was one guy's job to trim these Android-shaped hedges.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

Ericsson's stand was enormous. It had its own cafe and lots of interesting tech on show like this solar-powered car.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

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Ericsson predicts electronic telepathy will hit mainstream by 2020

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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.

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

And finally, was Google making a joke about 'dumb pipes,' here?

Business Insider/Lara O'Reilly

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