The Eye

MWC, Barcelona 2019

Photo: Oriol Duran

Barcelona’s mobile fair reveals the future

It is the world’s largest trade fair for the mobile industry, and one of the biggest events that Barcelona will host all year. The Mobile World Congress (MWC) took place at the end of last month, showing off the latest mobile technology to the more than 100,000 people who came from all over the world to visit the event. With its more than 2,400 exhibitors from over 200 countries, this year’s show focused on smart connectivity through the fusion of 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. During the four days the fair lasted, many of the world’s top tech companies showed off their latest innovations, such as the Hololens 2 headset from Microsoft, which blends virtual and augmented reality to make certain tasks in industry easier. Another novelty at the fair was Huawei’s new Mate X smartphone, which boasts 5G connectivity and features a foldable screen, much like the Samsung device that was unveiled a week before the MWC got underway. Closer to home, vehicle manufacturer Seat presented its first 5G-connected car, while the Catalan authorities showed off a prototype ambulance that is installed with the same technology. The importance of such fairs for the Catalan capital cannot be underestimated. The MWC, for example, has an economic impact on the city of some 470 million euros, while during the event, some 27,000 hotel rooms were booked up. Yet, the fair has an importance that goes beyond the city, as once a year the world comes together in Barcelona and looks into the future.

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