David Foy, ‎Head of Sector Development – Digital Economy – ‎Luxinnovation reports live from Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC2018) taking place at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona with selected events, including 4YFN, at Fira Montjuïc. Here he talks about the hot trends on display at the GSMA event where more than 2,300 exhibitors gather to highlight the newest technologies and most innovative products available.

“Everything needs to be, and is becoming, faster, smaller and more diverse.  Battery autonomy and robustness of devices is naturally of concern for device manufacturers.  Sony replied to the launch of the Samsung S9 with the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 compact both with 4k recording and impressive Slow Motion recording a full HD.

Get ready for 5G

Without a doubt, 5G is the hot topic at this year’s MWC2018 with all the big players exhibiting their developments and real world applications for a faster digital world.  We are seeing uses for 5G including Industrial robotics with China Mobile demonstrating a high-speed packing and sorting solution, Automotive with SK Telecom, amongst others, showcasing their solution for autonomous driving systems.  The high quality live streaming across 5G is quite impressive when shown side to side with the 4G alternatives and this is particularly evident with Virtual Reality applications.

With the increase in speed and demand, Artificial Intelligence is assuming a higher priority to deal with the increase in Big Data. Data mining and machine learning are converging to provide higher value solutions to the digital consumer whilst allowing service providers to better fulfil and predict user behaviour.

With AI comes the question of ethics. I am happy to see that this is a question being addressed by many of the exhibitors this year.  Additionally, for those who have ignored GDPR, I can also say that it certainly has not been overlooked here this year with almost every stand displaying information and disclaimers regarding the staring and treatment of visitor’s data.

Social technology

There is a marked increase in social technology aimed at government agencies, education and environmental concerns.  Applications for the health sector are also on the rise with therapeutic technologies aimed at the stimulation of less able-bodied persons and rehabilitation applications for specialised education or hospital environments.

IoT and M2M still have a firm place in the exhibition with advances being made in the diversity of the applications and the visualisation of the data generated.

Emphasis on tech transfer, IoT, AI and cybersecurity

Parallel to the MWC2018 is the 4YFN (4 Years from Now) event which brings together over 600 start-ups and is expecting over 20,000 visitors this year.  The subjects mirror the MWC agenda with emphasis on tech transfer, IoT, AI and cybersecurity.  Many great ideas are on display so let’s see how they impact our lives 4 years from now.

As an added bonus, all delegates were treated to two days of snow free of charge, which was quite possibly arranged by the organiser to keep the delegates minds on the event, and from visiting the beautiful city, that is Barcelona.

Luxinnovation will also participate in Vivatechnology, the world’s “rendezvous for start-ups & leaders” to be held from May 24 to 26, 2018 in Paris.  The audience is the same as that for the 4YFN (4 Years From Now) event. This is a first for Luxinnovation and there will be a national pavilion this year co-organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of the Economy and the House of Start-ups.”

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