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8 biggest announcements at Mobile World Congress 2019 (Foldables, 5G, IoT)

Mobile World Congress 2019

MWC 2019 (Mobile World Congress), the biggest mobile exhibition of the year, has already kicked off in Barcelona. On 25th morning, thousands of attendees filled the hallways of the venue to experience the innovations.

The theme of MWC this year is Intelligent Connectivity. It describes the combination of 5G technology, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. These technologies are the future of mobile industry and the world.

Mobile World Congress 2019 has come packed with the latest in mobile technology, including 360° cameras, drone cameras, smartphones, and more.

The adoption of mobile tools and services is rapidly increasing around the world across every industry. Over 5 billion people globally have already subscribed to mobile services by the end of 2018. This shows that 67% of the total population in the world is using mobile services.

While the 4G is taking the lead, the commercial 5G is becoming a reality. It is estimated that companies have initially invested between $500 billion to $1 trillion in 5G. However, an analysis from Greensill reveals that this investment wouldn’t be enough.

MWC 2019 has already witnessed some of the top innovations, including the foldable phones and 5G. Having said that, these are the biggest trends and announcements at the MWC Barcelona.

Most exciting announcements at MWC Barcelona

1. Microsoft HoloLens 2

Microsoft had released the first HoloLens in 2016. Using mixed reality, the HoloLens has completely transformed the way work gets done across several areas, including construction sites, factory floors, operating rooms, classrooms, etc.

At MWC Barcelona, Microsoft introduced the next generation of its mixed reality product—Microsoft HoloLens 2.

Microsoft HoloLens 2

Source: Microsoft

HoloLens 2 focuses on three key areas to make things even better—Immersion, Comfort, and Time-to-Value. It is an ultimate intelligent edge device that can also be coupled with existing and new Azure services.

Microsoft has increased the field of view in HoloLens 2, and added a new display system for advancing the performance at low power. There are eye-tracking sensors to make holograms interaction even more natural.

For acceleration of time-to-value, Microsoft has added its Mixed Reality applications, including Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 Layout, as well as Dynamics 365 Guides.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 is expected to be available this year for $3,500. It can be pre-ordered here.

2. Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung has added a number of new devices to its Galaxy family— Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy S10+. These smartphones will be the first ones to feature 5G technology.

Unveiled at MWC, the S10 smartphones will feature larger and sharper screens, wireless charging, powerful batteries, faster performance, more cameras, etc.

Samsung Galaxy S10

Source: Samsung

The new smartphones are now available for pre-order. Pricing of Galaxy S10e starts from $750, Galaxy S10 from $900, and Galaxy S10+ from $1000. The pricings will vary depending on the memory capacity (128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1TB) and color combination.

3. Galaxy Fold

Samsung is completely revolutionizing the smartphone industry with the foldable phone called Galaxy Fold. The smartphone cum tablet has two screens, the one when folded, another when opening the fold. Samsung has used a 7.3 inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED Display for tablet mode, and 4.6 inch HD+ Super AMOLED Display for phone mode.

Galaxy Fold will feature 12GB RAM with 512GB internal storage to completely revolutionize the user experience. This smartphone is priced at $1980 and is expected to release in second quarter this year.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Source: Samsung

As well mentioned by Samsung,

“Ten years after the first Galaxy.

We didn’t just change the shape of the phone.

We changed the shape of tomorrow.

#DoWhatYouCant.”

4. Azure Kinect Developer Kit (DK)

At Mobile Word Congress (MWC) 2019, Microsoft has unveiled a new software development kit (SDK) for developers and enterprises, aimed to help them develop computer vision and speech models.

Called Azure Kinect DK, the new developer kit and PC peripheral comes with advanced AI sensors, spatial microphone array with video camera, and an orientation sensor.

Azure Kinect

Source: Microsoft

The computer vision and speech models built using Azure Kinect DK can be used across various industries, including health care, retail, and manufacturing, for delivering exceptional care, build seamless shopping experiences, and enhance training.

Azure Kinect DK is less than half the size of Kinect for Windows v2. It features 1-MP depth sensor with wide and narrow field of vision (FOV) options, and accelerator and gyroscope to enable sensor orientation and spatial tracking.

The array of 7 microphones will enable customers to capture speech and sound from far-field. The 12-MP RGB video camera will provide additional color stream to match the depth stream.

Furthermore, to help developers and enterprises take their Kinect project to new level, Microsoft will allow Azure integration. They will be able to combine the advanced sensors on Azure Kinect with Azure Cognitive Services, and use machine learning for training the models.

5. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides

Microsoft has also announced a new mixed reality app called Dynamics 365 Guides to empower employees learn by doing.

The new app will improve learning process by providing step-by-step instruction so that employees can learn how to use tools and parts in real work situations. The Dynamics 365 Guides can be used with HoloLens and newly launched HoloLens 2.

There is another app called Guides PC app that will help in creating interacting content, attach photos and videos, import 3D models and customize trainings. It is currently in preview.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides

Source: Microsoft

6. Microsoft’s new IoT partnerships at MWC 2019

  • Integration between SAP Leonardo IoT and Azure IoT

Microsoft is integrating its Azure IoT service with SAP Leonardo IoT. The aim of integration is to provide a single solution that can simplify the collection and ingestion data, and stream it into familiar business applications, like SAP S/4HANA.

As part of integration, SAP Leonardo IoT will now power Azure IoT services, including Azure IoT Hub and Azure IoT Edge. It will provide customers access to secure connectivity, powerful Device Management functionality, and a data ingestion engine.

  • Microsoft and Inmarsat partnership

Inmarsat is a leading provider of mobile satellite communication services. The aim of Microsoft’s partnership with Inmarsat is to bring cloud-powered industrial IoT to global supply chain.

Following the partnership, Inmarsat customers will be able to transfer data collected by their IoT solutions to Azure IoT Central platform.

On the other hand, customers of Microsoft Azure will gain access to Inmarsat’s satellite communications network. It will allow them to connect their IoT infrastructure to cloud-based applications.

The focus of this collaboration will be initially on industrial IoT solutions in agriculture, mining, transportation and logistics industries.

  • Microsoft and myDevices partnership

myDevices provides solutions to help companies design, prototype and commercialize IoT solutions. It has an extensive catalog of pre-configured LoRaWAN sensors and gateways that contains around 200 devices from more than 50 manufacturers. These devices include standard indoor temperature sensors, industrial strength tank monitoring, and more.

As part of partnership, myDevices will connect LoRaWAN Sensors to Microsoft Azure. It will allow users to onboard their LoRaWAN devices to instantly send data directly to Azure.

Suggested reading: 10 most strategic IoT technologies and trends that will drive business innovation

7. Huawei Mate X

Huawei has launched the new foldable mobile that works as daily 6.6-inch smartphone when folded, and as an 8-inch tablet when unfolded. Unlike Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X has both the screens on the outer surface of the device.

The screen and display are flexible and soft which can bend and stretch several times without any compromise. The Falcon Wing design of Mate X is artistically crafted to dissolve into the device for a smooth and flat finish on both sides.

It is a dual sim phone that will provide access to 2G, 3G, 4G, and the upcoming 5G technology. The new mobile will feature 8GB RAM and 512GB ROM, with three Leica cameras—40 MP (Wide Angle Lens) + 16 MP (Ultra-Wide Angle Lens) + 8 MP (Telephoto).

Huawei Mate X

Source: Huawei

8. 1TB microSD cards

SanDisk and Micron have launched the world’s first 1-terabyte (TB) microSD cards at Mobile World Congress 2019. These SD cards will offer economical storage capacity for 4K videos, photos, and games on mobile and other electronic devices.

SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Card will provide up to 160 mbps read speed, and up to 90 mbps write speed.

SanDisk 1TB SD Card

Source: SanDisk

On the other hand, Micron C200 1TB microSDXC UHS-I Card will provide up to 100 mbps read speed and up to 95 mbps write performance speeds.

Micron 1TB SD Card

Source: Micron

Suggested reading: 5G will contribute to 57% of total wireless media revenues by 2025: Key takeaways from Intel-Ovum report
  • 5G phones released at MWC 2019:

Other than Samsung Galaxy Fold, Galaxy S10, and Huawei Mate X, these 5G phones were announced at the Mobile World Congress 2019.

  • LG V50 ThinQ
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
  • ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G

Wrapping up:

MWC 2019 will come to an end on 28th February. In the first two days of the event, the world has witnessed some of the biggest upcoming innovations. Among these top announcements, the MWC also showcased few more devices, such as Nokia 9 Pureview smartphone, Sony Xperia 1, Xperia 10, as well as HTC’s 5G Mobile Hub.

Which of these announcements excite you the most? Let us know via the comments below.

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