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Mobile World Congress 2017 Recap: The Future of Connectivity

A recap of the fourteen trends that defined Mobile World Congress 2017, through the lens of Epsilon Agency's innovation platform of Cognition, Connection and Immersion. Here you'll find the best of the show.

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Mobile World Congress 2017 Recap: The Future of Connectivity

  1. 1. Epsilon Agency March 5, 2017 1 MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2017
  2. 2. Mobile World Congress 2017 MWC 2017 showcased the tools and technology that will further empower consumers and shape the future of marketing. From the rise of 5G and it’s impact on smart cities and entertainment to the convergence of artificial intelligence and virtual reality to discussing the coming proxy web and system based journeys during the Modern Marketing Summit. The trends we covered at MWC 2017 outline the continual evolution of marketing in 2017 and the acceleration of intelligent systems. Join myself and Ian Beacraft, VP, Digital Strategy as we outline the trends we saw in Barcelona. 
 We view trends through the consumer centric filters of connection, cognition and immersion. •  Connection – Trends that reimagine how we connect, enable and empower consumers •  Cognition – Trends where machine based intelligence will disrupt and redefine data assets and how we work •  Immersion – Trends that align technology and presence to evoke emotion, entertain and power commerce The technology featured at MWC 2017 aligns with our view of the coming convergence toward an ambient computing future built on new data types that will simplify complex tasks, predict need states and usher in new forms of computing that will radically alter how we connect with consumers. Tom Edwards Chief Digital Officer, Agency 2
  5. 5. 5 1. Advanced Biometrics!
  6. 6. Advanced Biometrics 6 Connection! Above: Eye lock demonstrated their infrared iris scanner which uses infrared light and can see through sunglasses. Previous: Biowatch scans a user’s blood flow for a pulse signature than can by used as a pin code for various functions. Most people are familiar with fingerprint biometrics ever since Apple and Samsung embedded them on their smartphones, however, biometric analysis has come a long way since their adoption by the public. With the aid of more powerful chipsets and artificial intelligence, the various forms of biometrics that are now ready for public consumption has exploded. From voice, to iris detection, facial recognition, palm geometry, and even blood flow, these techniques may be baked into a smartphone, smart watch, or Iot device in your near future. From watches that use your blood flow as your debit cards pin code, to smartphone camera's that can read your retinas through sunglasses, the future is already here. It just hasn't been distributed yet. Implications: With more and more of our information flowing online, and the coming explosion of IoT devices, data security will reach new levels of importance. Moving from a convention of using something you know (a password) as a safeguard, to one or more defining characteristics of who you are will significantly increase the security of personal data, and eliminate the possibility of lost credentials.
  7. 7. 7 2. Evolving Assistants!
  8. 8. Evolving Assistants One of the key trends of the year so far has been the speed and acceleration of virtual assistants and the proliferation of voice based services. 
 With most of the current systems focused on search and retrieval and enhancement through skill development, at MWC we had the opportunity to be hands on with Sony’s Xperia Agent Concept. 
 With facial recognition, the ability to connect 1:1 via voice based calls and seamless integration into utility based systems such as calendars, we were able to get a glimpse at the next evolution of voice based assistants.   Implications: Current assistants such as Alexa and Google Home offer zero UI experiences and are 100% voice based. The Sony Xperia agent shows a glimpse at how integrating features such as 1:1 communication may increase on-going engagement with voice based platforms. 8 Sony’s Xperia Agent concept is being positioned as a bridge between current voice- based assistants and emotive robotics that are designed to interact in a personalized way. With facial recognition and the ability to connect via video conferencing this approach boldly evolves beyond current voice-based systems.
  9. 9. 9 3. Voice-Based Biometrics!
  10. 10. 10 Voice Interfaces are quickly becoming the remote control for the Internet of Things. One of the questions that has arisen is how to verify that a person placing an order through a voice-based system is actually the intended buyer. Biometric technology enables you to analyze biological features of a person such as fingerprints and retinal scans. As for Voice Biometrics, it is able to measure voices and compare them against each other in order to identify a person or verify their identity.   Implications: We see the evolution of voice-based biometric solutions as one of the ways to match true identity with voice-based purchasing. With security a growing concern for some IoT solutions, having methods for authentication that verify consumers across voice-based systems can increase confidence. Voice Biometrics STC highlighted their VoiceKey platform during MWC. This platform provides voice and face-matching biometric tools and technologies that developers can integrate into their own platforms or systems.
  11. 11. 11 4. Plug and Play IoT!
  12. 12. Plug and Play IoT Building an IoT device comes with a host of challenges, not least of which is managing the devices connection, and how the data moves back and forth. While these concepts seem simple, there’s an enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, and can be a daunting proposition for developers both on small and large teams. This year, we saw a number of companies with solution platforms that help take a lot of this grunt work out of the equation, allowing IoT devices makers to spend less time working on the backend, and more on the design of the hardware. Implications: this could have enormous implications for speed of development, and barriers of entry. Developers who previously couldn’t entertain the idea of building IoT devices due to lack of resources, necessary knowledge of network infrastructure, or time are starting to see these barriers fall. This could lead to a surge in the number of IoT devices created by startups and enterprises alike. 12 Wia.io takes all the guesswork out of the backend cloud services for IoT device makers, giving them plug-and-play functionality across dozens of APIs. Previous: Soracom makes it easy to monitor and manage devices while ensuring easy and secure connectivity of devices across the network. 10
  13. 13. 13 5. Smartphone Augmentation!
  14. 14. Smartphone Augmentation Motorola isn’t the first phone maker to announce mods and add-ons to their phones, but this year’s announcement of twelve new mods to come in 2017 made it clear that they’re betting big on the concept. Motorola demoed their existing mods of a Hasselblad camera, JBL speakers, and a projector, while teasing a Nintendo Switch-style gaming controller, and other mods to come in Q2 2017. The quality of these mods is high, and definitely targeted at the premium market, but it signals and interest to go beyond what consumers have become accustomed to in terms of traditional smartphone functionality and quality. Implications: While smartphone features improve year after year, having extremely high fidelity with certain features and a modular, adaptable feature set makes these phones extremely versatile. We may also see the popularity of some of these mods dictate which features are baked in to future handsets from all manufacturers. 14 Above: Motorola has announced 12 Moto Mods for 2017. At the Congress they demoed an extremely high quality Hasselblad camera Mod, JBL speaker Mod, Mophie battery pack, and a projector. Previous: a spokesperson demonstrated the physical zoom feature of the Hasselblad camera mod. 12
  15. 15. 15 Cameras to Eyes!Search to 1:1 Answers !Centaur Intelligence ! 6. AI Generated Content! 8. Streams to Channels!9. Conversational Experiences + Assistants ! 10. Smartphones becomes optional! 15. VR Commerce !16. Mixed Reality ! 6. Technonostalgia!
  16. 16. Technonostalgia Smartphone makers seemed to yearn for simpler days with multiple announcements to bring back old models, previous form factors, or even give people the option of a secondary dumb phone for when they want to disconnect from the constant flow of technology. Given all the coverage of the Blackberry and Nokia received at this year’s Mobile World Congress, we’ll be watching closely to see if the public adores these phones as much as the press did. Implications: Smartphones have become a homogenous sea os sameness with very little to differentiate them. Moving to older form factors brings new variety to the marketplace and pays heed to the various use cases phones can have. If these endeavors succeed, they’ll surely be followed by other manufacturers, and varied device types could proliferate rapidly. Ultimately, this could bring back some of the fragmentation headaches experiences by content providers in from 2010-2014. 1614 Above: The Blackberry KeyOne was unveiled at Mobile World Congress as an Android phone with a physical keyboard and many of the signature Blackberry software features. Previous: Nokia garnered enormous buzz for bringing back its 3310 model, which will retail at $50 and maintains the iconic form factor of years past.
  17. 17. COGNITION
  18. 18. 18 7. 1:1 Machine Learning!
  19. 19. Machine Learning 1:1 Having the ability to process large amounts of unstructured data is key to designing data centric solutions that can save time, identify new strategic territories and enhance multiple facets of business from customer service, product innovation and consumer marketing. At MWC 2017 we met a team that is providing a very focused approach to machine learning. This system is focused on aggregating user feedback from surveys, reviews, emails and even internal support systems and applies continuous learning and detailed sentiment. Implications: Machine Learning and other Natural Language Processing systems as well as AI-Powered analytics engines will fundamentally redefine our ability to process large amounts of information and derive meaningful insights for products, programs and experiences. With the rise of conversational experiences and commerce, having conversational agents that collect data in a highly modular approach while having the ability to align intent and perform entity extraction at scale will accelerate consumer marketing. 1917 Combining demand signals from third-party unstructured data with first-party data assets unlocks our approach to data design.
  20. 20. 20 AI Becomes a Service !Cameras to Eyes! Emergence of General AI Assistants ! Search to 1:1 Answers ! 8. Deep Learning Image Recognition!
  21. 21. Deep Learning Image Recognition 21 The most impressive VR demonstration of the convention came from a company that isn’t even in the VR space. EtherSec a video surveillance service that uses 3-dimensional convolutional neural networks (nerd speak for really fancy AI) to search video in real time for the presence of humans. The trick that stopped us in our tracks, however, was their ability to recreate what their algorithm saw in a virtual environment in real time, recreating, not only the image, but representing depth as well while using a single Kinect camera - something we’ve never seen done before.   Implications: This technology was developed for security purposes, but the use cases for depth sensing and real-time re-creation of physical environments in VR are profound. In the near future, we may be able to broadcast VR experiences using a simple mobile phone camera and generate immersive telepresence experiences from a device that fits in our pocket. Above: EtherSec’s technology uses the image coming from a single Kinect camera to analyze and reproduce 3-dimensional space in a virtual reality environment in real time. Previous: A representation of what the EtherSec AI sees through the camera.
  22. 22. IMMERSION
  23. 23. 23 Cameras to Eyes!Search to 1:1 Answers !Centaur Intelligence ! 6. AI Generated Content! 8. Streams to Channels!9. Conversational Experiences + Assistants ! 10. Smartphones becomes optional! 9. Infinite Touch Screens!
  24. 24. Infinite Touch Screens Light-based screens projected onto various surfaces were found earlier this year at CES and again at Mobile World Congress. These projectors allow nearly any surface to become a screen, with many incorporating motion sensitive cameras that can emulate the feel and interactivity of a touch screen. At MWC, the Xperia Projector was featured as a gesture controlled surface projector as well as a television replacement with high levels of fidelity for gaming with the PS4 as well as a projected interface as well as a family communication center. While touch-responsive projected screens aren't new, the size, variety, responsiveness, and cost provide a welcome upgrade from previous generations and makes them far more appealing for multiple use cases. Implications: We're likely to see a proliferation of screen "form factors" in everything from consumer devices to in-store retail experiences. The ability to turn any surface into a screen provides incredible flexibility and endless possibilities for interactive content. 24 Sony's Xperia projector turns any surface into an interactive touch screen using a motion sensing camera to understand movement and gestures. What made the MWC experience unique was the display of multiple use cases from gesture control, family communication and PS4 Remote Play
  25. 25. 25 Cameras to Eyes!Search to 1:1 Answers !Centaur Intelligence ! 6. AI Generated Content! 8. Streams to Channels!9. Conversational Experiences + Assistants ! 10. Smartphones becomes optional! 10. The Body as an Interface!
  26. 26. The Body as an Interface At CES in January this year we saw several demonstrations of technology that allowed the body to be used as a controller in various scenarios; from VR, to self driving cars. Several demos we saw at Mobile World Congress took the technology a step further by providing these types of interfaces in a wireless, mobile form factor, without any need for external processing. Implications: technologies and platforms like VR, AR, will rely on controls from technologies like eye-tracking, object recognition, hand mapping, and others. As these technologies become more feasible on mobile devices that do not require high powered computers to power, we’ll see a massive spike in adoption and an increased focus on providing branded content. 26 Above: Superb Reality demos a hand tracking system that relies solely on the smartphone’s camera. Previous: Leap Motion hand sensor embedded in a wireless VR headset. Leap Motion will be included in several upcoming mobile headset releases.
  27. 27. 27 11. Brain Interface!
  28. 28. Brain Interface We saw a few impressive brain-interface demonstrations in the halls this year. From making cars race around a track, to controlling basic video game functions, brain-interface controllers are beginning to prove a viable form of interaction with digital experiences. Implications: While brain interface is a ways away from acting as the single source of control in digital experiences, mixed with other control systems like eye or gesture tracking they could provide some incredibly immersive, engaging, and intuitive experiences. As these technologies progress brands will be faced with the challenge of not only creating content across channels and platforms, but for various forms of interaction as well. 28 Above: the Kundalini project from Arimac Sri Lanka allows the wearer to control basic video games and computer functions using only their thoughts. Previous: Hamamatsu demos their PocketNIRS infrared tissue oxygenation monitor by having participants drive slot cars around a racetrack with their thoughts.
  30. 30. 30 12. 5G Will Change Everything!
  31. 31. 5G Will Change Everything 5G was everywhere at this year’s MWC, and rightfully so. With speeds more than ten times what current networks, zero latency, much higher reliability and accessibility to the billion of IoT devices that will come online in the next few years, 5G will enable new use cases we never even imagined possible. From downloading a 4K movie in fifteen seconds, to live streaming VR experiences, to connecting autonomous cars to billions of sensors in the environment, the new connectivity standard will enable all sorts of advances in technology. Implications: Many of today’s entertainment and brand experiences are forced to work within the confines of relatively slow mobile speeds and small data plans. As 5G rolls out in late 2019 and 2020, bandwidth will no longer be a concern and will enable incredibly rich and highly detailed immersive experiences. 31 Ericsson’s President and CEO shows off a 5G chip at last year’s Mobile World Congress. This year, similar chips found themselves inside several of the phones presented at the Congress.
  32. 32. 32 13. In-Between Autonomous!
  33. 33. In-between Autonomous One of the recent trends by car manufactures is to now unveil new concepts, especially connected and autonomous designs at Mobile World Congress. Peugeot turned heads when they unveiled their autonomous concept. What was unique is they positioned it as a bridge between human drivers and an autonomous future by introducing various driving modes. This shows that some manufactures are keeping an eye to the future while also preparing for the reality of today. Implications: As we continue to monitor the evolution of cars as the next mobile platform a more realistic approach such as the one undertaken by Peugeot to offer modes that mirror driving behavior of today while evolving autonomous elements of tomorrow will serve as the key to unlocking adoption. 33 Peugeot unveiled their latest autonomous concept at Mobile World Congress. They are focused on developing a bridge between human based driving of today and autonomous driving of tomorrow.
  34. 34. 34 AI Becomes a Service !Cameras to Eyes! Emergence of General AI Assistants ! Search to 1:1 Answers !Centaur Intelligence ! 6. AI Generated Content! 8. Streams to Channels! 8. Streams to Channels! 9. Conversational Experiences + Assistants ! 10. Smartphones becomes optional! 14. Edge Computing!
  35. 35. Edge Computing To oversimplify things; if the cloud is a portable, real-time storage center for our data and files. However, as technology adds artificial intelligence to millions of applications, and self-driving cars incorporate 200+ cpus, the Cloud simply can’t support the data and calculation needs of these devices. Enter Edge Computing, which supplies data processing power away from the network and closer to the devices that need it, instead of shifting tons of data to the cloud to be processed and sent back. This will be a critical enabler of autonomous cars which have been dubbed “data centers on wheels” and engaging experiences where high density makes signal a challenge like sports stadiums, for example. Edge computing will enable artificially intelligent objects to process immense data while certain data types are shuttled across the network in more intelligent ways. Implications: In combination with 5G, edge computing will allow the computation and transmission of unfathomable amounts of data, making the technological progress of the past few years pale in comparison to what we’ll experience in the next five. 35 Above: Next VR cameras film a soccer match. With Edge computing live-streaming VR will be easy for networks to accommodate. Previous: A Nokia concept for Edge computing at a stadium, allowing lightning fast download speeds and multiple camera angles at a densely populated event.
  36. 36. Closing Remarks While CES has transformed from a product showcase, to a playground for brands and agencies, MWC’s roots as a highly technical tradeshow meant for players in the Telecom industry were still visible. With industrial heavyweights like Qualcomm and Ericsson claiming flagship roles in the conference the show had a decidedly pragmatic approach to the romantic future visions displayed on the floor. While the excitement of near-term possibilities permeated the conference, there were plenty of opportunities to stare deep into the guts of the systems that would make these quixotic visions a reality. Rather than stop at the what, there was plenty of discussion about how. Thinking back to how strongly the theme of connectivity figured into all of the technology demos and predictions about 5G, I’ve come to see the the pillar of Connection as a multiplying force for Cognition and Connection while also acting as the glue that binds them together, enabling the momentum toward a future of ambient computing. The future is here. It just hasn’t been downloaded yet. Ian Beacraft VP, Digital Strategy 36 RealFiction makes in-store displays for brands to showcase their products. The display comes preloaded with holographic animations or brands can customize the animations to fully amplify the display effect.
  37. 37. GET GROWING
  38. 38. GET GROWING Questions or inquiries can be sent to ! Tom.Edwards@epsilon.com and Ian.Beacraft@epsilon.com! ! ! Survey data based on marketers response to how Familiar, Excited, and useful ! they think the trend will be for consumers. ! The overall number is the mean score of excited and useful. !