Unless you live under a rock, you know that Mobile World Congress 2018 was last week. Of course, the BIGteam was at the event in Barcelona with some of our BIGclients, and believe it or not, not all the tech debuted at MWC was related to mobile devices. From new health wearables to AR glasses to connected credit cards, we have a lot to catch up on. Read on to see some of the coolest (and wackiest) things we saw at Mobile World Congress 2018.
The Nokia “Banana Phone”
You read that right: Nokia is bringing back the famous “banana phone.” You’ll probably recognize this phone from the 90s or the film, The Matrix, when Nokia was a top cell phone provider. Playing with nostalgia, Nokia is now bringing back the Nokia 8110 in both black and yellow with a curved headset that of course, makes it look just like a banana. The 8110 will run on the Smart Feature OS, so users won’t have access to Android apps found on other Nokia smartphones. However, there is speculation of an app store being created for the phone, which will include apps like Facebook.
Dynamics’ Wallet Card
After making a splash at CES 2018, Dynamics’ Wallet Cards were back at MWC. The first battery-powered, connected card of its kind, the Wallet Card allows a two-way communication between you and your bank in real-time. The idea of the card is to ensure security for your transactions by allowing your bank to contact you to verify purchases, extend your credit limit, view coupons, and many other features. Since it’s the same size as a normal credit card, the Wallet Card may be one of the thinnest connected devices you’ll ever own. Although several credit card issuers are signing up for the Wallet Card in the US, we expect it will still take some time for international expansion.
Could it be possible to lose weight without dieting or exercising? That’s what the makers of the Modius Headset are trying to prove. Supposedly donning the headset for at least one hour a day will help suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism. The device works by electrically stimulating your vestibular system and sending small electrical impulses to your hypothalamus. By targeting the area that controls your body’s appetite and fat storage, the creators claim you can actually prompt your brain to decrease appetite without hunger pangs. But be wary – you’re not supposed to actually move or exercise while wearing the headset. Still skeptical? One of the creators claims he lost 44% of his body fat in just one year of wearing the headset. After raising $2 million in crowdfunding on Indiegogo last summer, the device is set to be available for April, so you’ll just have to wait to try it for yourself then.
Vuzix AR Glasses
Could 2018 finally be the year for smart glasses? The US-based company, Vuzix, seems to think so. Vuzix’s new Blade glasses connect to your smartphone and allow you to read text messages, check weather conditions and even use Alexa for voice commands, all within your glasses. The eyewear utilizes a tiny projector to show a virtual image in the lenses. Unlike other glasses, the Blade’s batteries and projectors are all located directly in the frames. Other features include seeing GPS directions directly through your glasses as you walk down the street, or snapping a picture without taking out your camera. Set to launch later this year, the Blade glasses will be available at a whopping $1,300. Although they may not be the most stylish looking glasses, it will be interesting to see if Blade can beat out the failure of Google Glass.
Samsung Galaxy S9
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of MWC 2018 was the launch of the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S9. Samsung’s latest phone will come in two dimensions: a 5.9-inch S9 and 6.2-inch S9+. Some other highlighted features include a sleek design, improved speakers, wireless charging, dual-megapixel lens for the front and back-facing cameras, and better support for Samsung’s smart assistant, Bixby. Opponents of Apple’s decision to ditch the headphone jack after iPhone 7 will be happy to know that the headphone jack remains for the Samsung Galaxy S9. Rivaling Apple’s Animoji, Samsung has also launched AR Emoji, a feature that enables users to take a selfie and then transform their face into a custom emoji. Pre-orders for the phone are available now and the phone will officially be available on March 16.
Of course, we saw some awesome tech news from BIGclients Airfox and Vayyar! Check out some of their BIGpress hits here and here.
Were you at MWC 2018? What were some of your favorite tech announcements? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us at @BIGfishPR!