A digital monocle a la Dragon Ball and five other curiosities of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona | Technology

In the halls of Mobile World Congress This year, normality was breathed, even if it was under the masks. Movement between the exhibitors, queues at the food stalls and a procession of gadgets scattered around the fair. All for a meeting that had a lot of reunion after last year’s decaffeinated edition.

In the absence of confirmation at the end of the fair, the organizer of the event, the GSMA, expected some 60,000 attendees and the presence of around 1,500 companies with an exhibitor. There has not been the same amount of news as other editions, but it has given for more than one technological rarity. We review some of them.

Oppo’s Dragon Ball monocle

One of the jewels of the Oppo stand, which gathered a circle of admirers almost continuously, was its Oppo Air Glass. It is a kind of digital monocle, which is attached by a magnet to a pair of glasses. The user can see information on the glass thanks to a mini projector, which displays it in green symbols. Thus, you can have weather data, GPS directions when riding a bike or have a simultaneous translation while you see what is behind you perfectly.

The augmented reality of the Air Glass also has a speaker that works by bone conduction. In this way, you can sneak information to its carrier without anyone else knowing. All this thanks to a Qualcomm processor integrated into the device. The company also presented a fast charge for mobile phones that reaches 150 W, capable of charging a 4,500 mAh battery from 0 to 100% in 15 minutes.

A tin bartender

In reality, this barman has little tin, rather it is made up of plastic and metal structures. But his appearance bears some resemblance to the famous character from The Wizard of Oz. This 5G Bartender, which could be seen at the Telefónica stand, is the result of the operator’s collaboration with the manufacturer, Macco Robotics.

Kime, that’s what it’s called, this robot works with 5G connectivity and the edge computing and is programmed to serve glasses of wine, cocktails or juices. It has absolute precision thanks to the controllers it has on each arm. The orders are given by the customer through a tablet, whose camera allows facial recognition of the person who orders. In this way, the machine identifies the customer and can find out what he likes for future visits.

A Macco robot serves drinks at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona on March 2, 2022
A Macco robot serves drinks at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona on March 2, 2022JOSEP LAGO (AFP)

Spot: the high-end robotic dog

Mobile is not used to seeing robot dogs, but this year they have been one of the sensations. To the cyberdog Xiaomi adds Spot, manufactured by Boston Dynamics and that could be seen at the IBM stand. It consists of a machine with sensors capable of collecting data and analyzing it with artificial intelligence models.

Spot is capable of keeping his balance, climbing rough terrain such as uneven stones, or following a target. One of the services it can offer to companies is to automate a routine inspection of tasks and data capture: safely, accurately and frequently.

Visitors take pictures of Boston Dynamics' SPOT robot dog on the opening day of the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona on February 28, 2022.
Visitors take pictures of Boston Dynamics’ SPOT robot dog on the opening day of the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona on February 28, 2022.PAU BARRENA (AFP)

A mobile with an embedded fan for ‘gamers’

Among the mobiles presented, the Red Magic 7 has not been one of those that have attracted the most attention. However, it has an interesting feature. This smartphone, manufactured by the Nubia company, whose main investor is ZTE, has an internal fan. This element lowers the phone’s peak temperature by 4 degrees. It is aimed at those who expose their device to long game days, which overheat the terminal.

Once turned on – the user does it from the screen – the blades begin to rotate frantically. The back is backlit with different colors. If you put your ear to the fan when it is on, you can hear a slight murmur. The smartphone, which also has a screen with a refresh rate of 165 Hz, will be marketed in March in Spain. It also has other elements to dissipate heat, such as a steam chamber, as well as aluminum and graphene parts, good conductors of heat, in this case outside the terminal.

A visit to a theme park metaverse

At the exhibitor of the Korean operator SK Telecom there is always some eye-catching attraction. It’s tradition to see a respectable queue waiting to ride in the new tech bauble. In this case it was a virtual attraction. There were four chairs hooked to a robotic arm that moved them like in a street fair (although with more gentleness).

Users wore virtual reality goggles and entered a metaverse ad hoc, where they traveled on a sky train that traveled through a futuristic city. Then he enters a factory, to see its ins and outs first hand and offers viewers a virtual walk through different scenarios. The chairs moved and turned depending on where the virtual tourists were. In the same exhibitor, the company set up a corner where a volumetric concert took place. The spectator, equipped with Oculus glasses and his controls, had the feeling of actually being at the concert.

Visitors, wearing mandatory FFP2 masks, experience SK Telecom's Metaverse 4D at Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona.
Visitors, wearing mandatory FFP2 masks, experience SK Telecom’s Metaverse 4D at Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona.DPA via Europa Press (Europa Press)

Artificial intelligence to detect the state of mental health

The startup Accessible had developed software that detected mild cognitive impairment and dementia in early stages from the voice. After this first prototype, his goal was to create a new system aimed at detecting Parkinson’s or mental health illnesses. Before the arrival of the pandemic, the team decided to opt for the second option. The result has been some algorithms that allow the identification of depression from what the patient says and how he says it. The company, which works closely with doctors and psychologists, ensures 90% accuracy in its results.

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