Mobile World Congress (MWC) Los Angeles is a three-day, tech-focused, B2B event featuring cutting-edge exhibition, an extensive agenda of conference sessions, informative summits & seminars, partner programs and networking events.
Over 225 members of the media and industry analysts attended to report on the event, and following my first Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2014, I’ve wanted to experience the LA event since it started!
This year’s event focused on industry impact by convening the innovators and leadership that are using technology to create a better future. Participants experienced at first-hand, how mobile-connected products and services are improving the lives of citizens and enterprises around the world.
We are in the era of Intelligent Connectivity, and so it wasn’t surprising that 5G and mixed reality (XR) stood out during MWC Los Angeles. We experienced 5G first-hand and learned how the tech industry has adapted and been challenged by this technology.
The congress featured some amazing innovative technologies, new gadgets, cutting-edge demos and amazing exhibition. Highlights include the various educational conference sessions, the Innovation City, the NEXTech, IoT & 5G Talks stage and more. At 4YFN (4 Years From Now) stage, startups, investors, corporations and public institutions gathered in search of bigger ideas and engaging in new ventures together.
Top U.S. cellular carriers, Verizon and Sprint showed up to exhibit at MWC Los Angeles, focusing heavily on 5G and mixed reality. Both proudly placed live 5G networks and hardware at the L.A. Convention Center testing them on a number of devices and activities. I saw actual speeds ranging from 150-313Mbps. Yes, 5G isn’t hype!
Samsung had a legitimate booth at the show; though its only announcements were related to more tightly integrated 5G base stations — news that might interest some carriers, but not the general public.
Ericsson’s booth was almost exclusively dedicated to showing off base stations and recent advancements in 5G signaling technologies. The basic message is that 5G base stations are getting smaller, more powerful, and easier to hide inside nicely designed housings — light poles, beige boxes, pucks, and so on. Demos were focused on various aspects of 5G throughput and uses of new Ericsson tower software to remotely manage everything from network performance to power and backup battery systems.
One of my other highlights was seeing ‘Serve’, a socially aware delivery robot from food delivery service Postmates, on display at the Nvidia Corp. booth. NVIDIA EGX servers power the diminutive yellow food delivery robot, equipped with powerful lidar sensors and a playful digital face. It’s designed to work alongside the existing Postmates fleet to move small objects over short distances efficiently. It runs on electricity and moves at walking speed, routing deliveries away from congested streets and onto sidewalks.
CloudMinds Technology’s XR-1, Humanoid Robot with vision-controlled grasping tech and intricate manual tasks, interacted with guests at the Sprint exhibit. The XR-1 is one of the first-ever humanoid robots powered by cloud artificial intelligence, commercial Sprint True Mobile 5G and proprietary vision-controlled grasping technology for service robots that also leverages human operator input for constant learning.
On the entertainment and media front, there were a lot of talks around immersive storytelling. Immersive storytelling is a technique that is finding its way into new spaces such as theatres, games, documentaries, advertising and journalism. The aim is to give people the feeling of really ‘being there’, calling on 3D gaming, virtual and augmented reality technologies in the process. Tech is making our media more entertaining, hard-hitting and unique.
Discussions were held on the Future of Immersive Storytelling, using AI as a Tool for Creativity, Amplifying Brand Awareness Through Creative Innovation and more.