Live from Mobile World Congress - Day 3

More Virtual Reality, more robots, plus safety & security. That’s what Day 3 of our MWC round-up is all about and today may just have been our most exciting day yet, so read on for some of the best tech we’ve seen.

Dance, robot, dance (and make calls. And use your projector)
While at the booth of a company called Qualcomm (They make a lot of the processors – the brains – of many smartphones today) we came across ‘RoBoHoN’, a chirpy little robot that doubles as a smartphone and does it all. It sings, dances, can make and receive calls, take photos and even use its built-in projector to throw the image onto a surface – or even project a YouTube video, we’re told. RoBoHoN will be released initially in Japan this year, but we hear they’re considering other territories in the future. Maybe RoBoHoN could be on your Christmas wish list soon?

 

RoBoHoN2

 

How do you know if a screen protector really protects? You hit it with a hammer of course
Though we’d never recommend doing that, that’s how PanzerGlass at MWC are demonstrating the toughness and durability of their protectors. As we approached the booth, we saw a phone being attacked with a hammer and sharp blade. “Wow, poor phone” we thought, but as it turns out it may have been the hammer losing the battle. Check the video out below – and best of all, you can buy PanzerGlass directly from O2 right now.

Check it out for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s HERE, for iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus HERE, or for Samsung Galaxy S6 HERE. If you have a different phone, you can check the availability of PanzerGlass for your phone HERE.

 

Not yet convinced by fingerprint security? You might be soon
Today we stumbled across a small booth from a company called VKANSEE Technology, which specialises in optical fingerprint recognition. Their technology’s so advanced that their solution is up to 4 times more accurate than that of most current smartphones – some of which they demonstrated can be spoofed with a clay model of someone’s fingerprint. Representatives told us that VKANSEE is hoping to see its technology used in a smartphone sometime in the second half of this year, so keep your eyes peeled for future mobiles potentially having even greater levels of security.

 

Mobile banking could become a lot smarter
MasterCard – everyone’s heard of them, right? As one of the largest payment processors in the world, they’re stepping up their game when it comes to online banking. Soon, you’ll be able to use your fingerprint and take a selfie to pay for stuff – gone could be the days of PINs or passwords for banking.

How it works is really clever too; when you make a payment, you’ll be sent a real-time authorisation request – if you don’t recognise it, just decline the payment. If you do recognise it, you scan your fingerprint for the 1st level of security and then for the 2nd, the app takes a selfie for facial recognition. MasterCard will soon be releasing the tools for banks, so they can look at using the feature in their own mobile apps.

MasterCard

 

VR everywhere. It’s the future
As we mentioned in our previous MWC blogs, Virtual Reality (VR) is a big thing at this year’s event; there have been so many booths and displays making use of it. Some of them you’ll probably already be familiar with, such as the Samsung Gear VR.

The Gear VR is essentially a simplified version of the Oculus Rift (it’s actually powered by Oculus, so you’re still getting a load of tech crammed in) but it’s a fraction of the cost and can deliver a brilliant VR experience. Check below for the Samsung 4D Cinema at MWC – a rollercoaster ride is a great way to demonstrate what VR is capable of.

 

For actually creating 360-degree video content to watch back in VR, you may have already seen the recently announced LG 360 Cam and Samsung Gear 360 – both of which are small devices capable of capturing 360-degree video. The Nokia OZO goes to the extreme end of the scale, containing 8 cameras to perfectly capture a full 360 degrees of video as well as 360 degrees of sound.

We got a demonstration and it really was an amazing experience – in one of the videos involving pirates fighting on a beach, we could easily have thought we were Captain Jack Sparrow. Costing $60k, it’s unlikely you’ll be using the OZO to capture your family holiday, but as VR becomes more and more popular, you may see professional video capture tools such as this become more affordable.

NokiaOZO

 

Another example of VR we saw today was from HTC. Their Vive device differs from the likes of the Gear VR in that it focuses more on gaming, and it links to a computer rather than your mobile phone.

In the demo, we played the game ‘Elite Dangerous’ where you can pilot a spaceship with a flight control system (sold separately to the main HTC Vive unit). The headset felt very secure and once loaded up, it was a fantastic experience – we really felt like we were controlling a spaceship, avoiding approaching asteroids and taking out enemy spaceships before they destroyed us.

HTCVive1

We had so much fun that we didn’t even notice our lovely HTC Vive rep taking a sneaky selfie – that’s how immersive the experience is.

HTCVive2

 

We had a fantastic day today, but it’s not over yet. With one day left of MWC, we’re looking forward to exploring this year’s wearables, smart home products and smart tech in general, plus anything else that catches our eye.

So head back tomorrow and check it out – we’ll even have what could be the most advanced toothbrush ever made. Smile!

Interested in the latest tech? Head to https://o2.uk/Updates and we’ll keep you in the loop about the latest gadgets coming to O2.