The focus is on the future technology of mobile phones and how mobility can build a better future for everyone at day two of Mobile World Congress 2018. Between the unveiling of cool new tech, game-changing announcements and inspiring content from keynote and session speakers, there’s a noticeable buzz of excitement among #MWC18 conference attendees on the ground in Barcelona.
The cutting edge of mobile innovation, AI and machine learning is driving the movement toward a cashless society and giving a voice to the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
Mobility is fundamentally changing society
Mobile innovation means more than just the future technology of mobile phones. At MWC 18, there’s a huge focus on how innovations in cognitive intelligence and mobility can solve social problems and improve quality of life for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Today’s keynote, “Creating a Better Future for Everyone,” showcased how technology is improving and saving lives worldwide.
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“It’s not about charity, it’s about change,” stated Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. Mobility is already helping the 1.1 billion individuals worldwide without identification achieve a digital identity. Mobile phones were also the conduit for $1.3 million in private donations following recent natural disasters.
Mobile phones, telecommunications, and other innovations are, per Calvin, “fundamentally changing the pace of progress toward a better future.”
Is a cashless society closer than ever?
One of today’s most powerful sessions asked, “Is a cashless future on the horizon?” Global fintech trends point to yes, and mobile innovation is also tranforming society in other positive ways. Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank believes “by using AI and machine learning, we can transform people’s financial lives.”
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Present and future technology of mobile phones is already changing quality of life for the 600 million households in Africa without electricity. Two million global households are already powered by Fenix International’s unique, pay-as-you-go solar program.
The company’s CTO Jit Bhattacharya reports program member are using Fenix’s approach to cashless mobile payments to pay $0.19 for solar electricity, access loan money for their kids’ education and build credit history.
Ajit Pai on the mobile industry and improved access
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is one of many luminaries in attendance at MWC 18, and his keynote today fit in with today’s theme of the social benefits of mobile transformation. Pai provided insight into the FCC’s upcoming reverse auctions to distribute funding for both fixed and wireless connectivity in underserved areas of the US.
4 major innovation highlights from day 2 of #MWC18
It wouldn’t be the world’s largest mobility gathering without tweet-worthy announcements or the unveiling of products defining the future of mobile phones, enterprise mobility and more. While it’s nearly impossible to drill down on just a few highlights, a few tech-related standouts from day two include better blockchain access, earbud translation and a portable TV.
1. Tube TV
LG has officially announced a first-of-its kind TV display that’s more than lightweight. It’s flexible and thin enough to be rolled up and transported as a tube.
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2. The 5G robots are here
Huawei is demo-ing an early-concept 5G robot controlled by an individual wearing sensors that could potentially stand in for humans in dangerous workplace situations. Other “crazy,” cutting-edge tech on display includes an AI-powered Kabuki mask, earbuds that can translate 40 languages in real time and Sony’s steps towards 3-D selfies.
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3. Blockchain code pattern access
There’s a blockchain revolution underway that’s transforming healthcare, finance and countless other industries. In a groundbreaking announcement by Chief Digital Officer Bob Lord, IBM is making it easier than ever for developers to build blockchain foundations by providing code patterns.
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4. 5G is now
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure announced his firm is ready to launch the fiist nationwide 5G network in the US.
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Believe it or not, #MWC18 is now officially half over. Catch up with our first recap, Mobile World Congress Day #1: Mobile transformation, creativity and the ethics of AI, and stay in the know with daily coverage now thrugh March 1st.