Faster, shinier, better — so many of our technological advances focus on upping the ante. At the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the latest smartphones and tablets pushed the envelope on what engineering and manufacturing could create. But eight other innovations offered a different kind of step forward. Rather than just show off the next evolution of the smartphone, these brought something refreshing, new, and — in some cases — game-changing to the table. It’s safe to say that the we — and the world — can’t wait for these to come to market.
Intel’s Low-Cost Atom Processor
The newest releases from Apple, Samsung, and Motorola cost hundreds of dollars. For many in the western world, it’s a luxury that they can’t always afford. Now consider what life is like in a developing nation. Intel’s new low-cost Atom processor may power smartphones at the $75 price point, putting this type of technology in many more hands around the world.
Ford Smart Bicycle
Hate commuter traffic? Try biking to work with a motorized Ford Smart Bicycle. While still in the prototype stage, MWC saw Ford make significant announcements regarding this project. The goal is to provide a means to thin out urban congestion and environmental impact; currently, Ford’s developmental pedal-assisted e-bikes come with navigation and smart routing, automated turn signals, and communication with other equipped non-bicycle vehicles.
Microsoft’s Universal Foldable Keyboard
Virtual keyboards are a necessary evil. Never totally accurate or comfortable, they’re still easier than carrying around a clunky Bluetooth keyboard. Microsoft is trying to change that with its new folding keyboard. Streamlined keys, easy connectivity, longer battery life, and magnet-locking center fold make Microsoft’s latest a convenient way to bring a keyboard in a purse or bag.
Smartwatches aren’t exactly new but they haven’t grabbed the marketplace the way Apple and Motorola projected. At MWC, a newcomer to the smartwatch field caught many eyes simply because their product looks like a luxury watch. Chinese manufacturer Huaiwei opted for a traditional look and feel for its Android watch, and they’re banking on classic elegance to finally crack the smartwatch market.
IKEA Wireless Charging Furniture
Cords, docks, plugs, adapters — today’s modern living room is mired in charging equipment. Even current wireless chargers need their own space. However, IKEA has taken a bold step forward and incorporated wireless charging into its modern European aesthetic. With IKEA’s strong design and massive popularity, wireless charging looks to be the future of interior design.
Apple Pay has been around a while now while Samsung Pay was just announced. Android Pay may share a similar name but its purpose is a little different. Rather than a consumer tool, Android Pay is an API designed to help developers integrate payment and transactions into Android apps. By creating a platform standard, both sides of the mobile economy win: businesses can more easily monetize and users can feel more secure in their transactions.
Lenovo Pocket Projector
Lenovo has made projecting media from your USB device easy and affordable thanks to its new Pocket Projector. At just four square inches, it hardly takes up any desk space, and its modern design fits both home and office. The lightweight projector works from walls and screens to ceilings, and while its 480p resolution isn’t the best picture quality, the flexible applications are limitless: ad hoc office presentations, sharing family photos, or turning a child’s bedroom into a movie theater.
Xiaomi Action Camera
GoPro cameras are used for everything from amateur sports to innovative filmmaking. They’re also pricey, but Xiaomi’s action camera matches GoPro’s specs with a two digit price. At such a low investment, this opens the door to greater adoption by consumers but also for industrial purposes — military, construction, police, and any other sector that might benefit from high quality video capture.
The hottest tech headlines may focus on the latest smartphone or tablet, but these eight innovations represent something even bigger than that: the possibility to re-shape the way our day-to-day lives unfold. After all, gadgets shouldn’t just be about improving their specs — they’re about improving the way we work, play, and live.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Why The World Needs These 8 Innovations From MWC 2015
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