Bigger screens, wearable devices and security dominate congress

Mobile technology is not only transforming itself, it is ringing the changes in so many areas of our lives

Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 01:17

But David McQueen, principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, described the move as a “game-changing” step for the firm as it moved into the affordable smartphone market.

“This may be a few years too late, but it is a much-needed move by Nokia to recapture share of the smartphone market by becoming part of the Android ecosystem,” he said. “By using a number of key elements that have been highly successful in the smartphone industry over the past few years, and overlaying it with some of its own significant attributes – and to that I still add brand strength and quality industrial design – Nokia has bridged the gap to its Lumia smartphones by creating a truly irresistible product offering for the affordable segment.”

Wearable tech
Wearable technology was very much in evidence around the event, with Samsung unveiling three new Gear smartwatches, including the fitness focused Gear Fit, with its curved Amoled touchscreen.

Huawei, meanwhile, showed off the TalkBand, which follows the formula already established by many – tracking movement in a sleek band, and allowing users to make calls too. However, it did distinguish itself in one important way: the band has a pop-out earpiece that allows users to make calls.

In an increasingly crowded wearable-tech market, it’s getting harder for firms to distinguish themselves from the rest. Some, such as Finland’s Creoir, are using design to stand out; its Ibis smartwatch puts design at the heart of its offering rather than being an afterthought. That’s a major failing for some of the current smartwatch offerings, something Samsung acknowledged when it redesigned its Gear 2 to be a smarter, sleeker device that allowed users to swap straps according to their own tastes.

The internet of things
The “internet of things” reared its head regularly throughout the show too, with machine to machine (M2M) communication a recurring theme. From smart homes to connected cities, the idea that the internet is now being used to connect millions of devices as well as people wasn’t allowed to pass unnoticed.

One Irish firm taking advantage of that is Blueface, which used the show to announce its M2M platform Smarty, which will help businesses roll out applications for the wireless “internet of things”.

The platform, which will be available from the second quarter of the year, will be targeted at service providers, carriers, fleet-management providers, utilities, applications providers and similar firms.

The company plans to use its mobile virtual network operator with Three Ireland to give customers using the platform access to secure data backhaul and static IP addressing, among other benefits.

Blueface chief executive Alan Foy said the platform would let customers quickly and efficiently deploy their applications. “Our research indicates up to 16 million devices will be connected by 2020 in Ireland,” he said, adding that it provided major business opportunities for customers.

Meanwhile, Dublin headquartered Escher Interactive Services announced yesterday that it had teamed up with the show organiser GSMA’s Connected City initiative to showcase its mobile wallet project, joining other well-known firms such as Deutsche Telekom and Verifone.

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