Mobile World Congress: the best gadgets

Some of the new and notable devices shown at this year's show

Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 01:16

Like International CES, there are enough gadgets and software announced at Mobile World Congress to make your head spin. There may not be quite the same level of eye popping weirdness that manages to filter into the Las Vegas show, but MWC has its share of notable gadgets worth keeping an eye on, for various reasons.

Ibis Smartwatch 

The Ibis smartwatch deserves a mention if only for how it looks. While much thought has gone into the functions of smartwatches, it’s often the design that gets left behind. Several companies have tried to correct this, but only a few have managed it.

Finnish company Creoir has created what it believes is the antidote to all the chunky silicon and angles: a watch that will not only fulfil all the so-called smart functions – Android-based, notifications for your phone, remote control – but also does it with a bit of style. Made from crystal and stainless steel, the company says the design was inspired by a flying bird with a young bird on its back.

Make what you will of it, it’s a step up from the clunky smartwatches we’ve been subjected to so far.

One for the golf enthusiasts among us, CaddieOn is a system that will help you improve your game through some clever use of sensors, mobile technology and some software that lives on your phone. It uses tags for your clubs, a wrist device that registers the swing and a mobile app, linked to a software platform. All the data is collected in real time, uploaded to the cloud and collated.

You can access your scorecard, stroke details and rangefinder from the mobile application.

There’s even a competitive element to it; there’s a leaderboard and your friends can also see exactly how you’re doing (so no fibbing about how good you are).

Opera Max
Mobile data usage is a touchy subject, depending on what angle you’re coming from. Both consumers and mobile operators have their own reasons for wanting to, at times, limit the amount of data splurged over the mobile networks, whether it’s for cost or service reasons.

Opera Max is the latest version of the company’s mobile software that aims to reduce the amount of data that you are using on your phone.

Opera compresses the data before sending it to your phone. That has one happy side effect: it won’t cost you as much in terms of data charges, if you’re on mobile services.

It only works for non-encrypted traffic, so your email and other confidential services are excluded.

The service is open on a limited basis, and the impact on your data usage will depend on how data hungry the website you are browsing is. One thing to note: Opera software has also proven a handy way in the past to get around the content filters that some mobile networks slap on users.

GoodLux SunSprite At CES last month, there was one firm that was developing wearable technology that warned you about your sun exposure levels, letting you know if you’d spent too long in its rays before the painful sunburn did. The SunSprite also measures sunlight exposure, but for a different reason: fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder.

It’s a bit limited in use but, if you’re a SAD sufferer, chances are you might like it.

Smart Glove

Imagine a glove that would actually give you instructions about what exactly had gone wrong when you were in work. That’s what Fujitsu showed off at Mobile World Congress.

The glove uses augmented reality and a head up display on a pair of glasses to guide you towards the problem (assuming it knows, of course). Point at the offending item with the glove, and the combination of the glasses and glove will reveal the answer. It’s expected to hit the market next year at some point.

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