At this year’s MWC there were lots of shiney products on display, from Google Glass controlled drones buzzing near the theatres in Hall 8, through to the much improved Samsung Gear range including Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit with heart monitor, curved screen and earth quake alert use case.
This year was not the year of mobile! But it may well be the year of the smarter world. It became clear at this year’s show that the smart phone is becoming the door way into a smart way of life: across wearable’s, health, homes and cars.
Samsung really turned up at the show, flashing some of their $8.5billion marketing budget, with a high spend and lots of product launches and developer love.
The Galaxy S5 was a safe launch with innovations such as finger print authentication and waterproofing already pioneered by Apple and Sony respectively. The specs all make this a great phone, available in April. The most interesting feature perhaps is the heart beat monitor, and its great to see new sensors and additio
nal health utility coming to mobiles. The S Health app b
ring this to life with software that tracks certain activity types along with calorie consumption tracking. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple’s rumoured HealthBook app competes.
Samsung’s Developer Day was impressive too. The new and improved Samsung Mobile SDK 1.5 stood out with innovations such as Chord, which enables multi mobile multi player gaming and interaction via WiFi direct. Party Party was demoed and sure looks fun.
The Gear family of wearables and its surrounding Ecosystem is really taking shape, with a broader product range comprising Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, along with soon to be released Gear SDK. Gear now works with over 20 Samsung mobile and tablet devices. And new Gear now benefits from much improved battery life of 3 days – all thanks to Tizen (the battery is the same as before).
But developing won’t be all that easy with new user input methods such as swiping down from the edge of the screen to go back. Add to that 2 different screen sizes, 2 OS’s (Tizen and Android), Gears with/without camera and the consideration of phone connectivity, you can see that new ways of thinking and working will be required.
The use case of buying a cinema ticket and having a scannable bar code on the Gear Fit shows that the only limits working in mobile at the moment are our imaginations. We are really excited about the new opportunities for brands that embrace the mobile-wearable future.
Written byDavid Skerrett,