Would you listen to a “teacher on wheels”?
mEducation—products that take the best parts of mobile devices and apply them in educational environments—is one of the most talked about sectors at this year’s MWC. One of the most interesting is a simple robot designed to let teachers educate remotely. The wireless technology makes use of tablet popularity, however the question remains: How will it know when kids are flicking ink balls at it, or even paying attention? BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones has more.
Phone…fetch me my slippers
Mobile devices stopped being a tool for just making calls and morphed into a facilitator for the modern digital life some time ago. Arguably the tipping point was Apple’s Siri, which brought a new and ingenious take on the personal assistant to the masses via the iPhone. Google has built on that early success with its Google Now product, which anticipates just about anything you might want to know or ask. And now there is a new personal assistant app that is based in the cloud and, uniquely, can be used across devices. Indigo works on Android and Windows Phone 8 and has received resounding praise to date. It’s an interesting development in the evolution of smartphones, and another step towards device ubiquity in our lives.
EE: unlimited data tariffs are "unnecessary"
EE CEO Olaf Swantee used his speech at MWC to hit back at critics of the firm’s decision to cap certain data plans at 500MB saying that unlimited data tariffs are “unnecessary”. He claimed that customers in the UK typically use 1.4GB of data a month, with 25% of that dedicated to video. Metro has the full story.
No MWC would be complete without the highly anticipated Global Mobile Awards Ceremony, and seemingly no awards ceremony this year would be complete without Samsung winning some kind of gong. True to form the Samsung Galaxy S3 scooped the best smartphone award at this year’s event. Elsewhere Google and Asus were recognised in the best mobile tablet category for their Nexus 7, while Nokia scooped the best featurephone award for its Asha 305. Samsung Electronics also won the CTO’s Choice for outstanding overall mobile technology for its Smart LTE Networks. See the full list of winners here.
The Connect Home
The connected home has been a big theme in Barcelona this year, with many stands actually replicating what homes of the future could look like. One product turning heads is BeeWi Mobot, a power plug that allows users to control gadgets in their homes while they are out. The device uses a SIM card an associated app to not only keep you up to date with what your appliances are doing, but also use its inbuilt Bluetooth and motion detector to speak to other plugs and notify users when someone is moving around in the house. There is even a temperature sensor to warn of fires. It is hard to underestimate the impact that products like this will have in the future. The connected home may still be in its embryonic stages, but give it five years and it is fairly certain that everyone will be turning on the air conditioning remotely when that heat wave eventually arrives.
The brand experience is diversifying, and social is at its core
One of the themes to emerge from this year’s event is the significance of mobile to overall brand experience. Bricks-and-mortar stores and traditional marketing channels are no longer the main point of contact for the modern customer, and brands are having to adapt their customer experience accordingly. Speakers from brands such as Unilever and KLM explained how they have tailored the customer experience to cater for the mobile generation, and social strategy is proving to be an important differentiator in how successful this has been. Indeed, 73% of North American telecoms providers are currently using social to transform the customer experience. Ultimately, brands that best reflect the habits of their customers by putting social at the core of everything they do will be best placed for success moving forward.
Fact of the Day – Yesterday readers went mad for the news of the Wi-Fi pet feeder. Today we are going one better and bringing you caffeine on demand. May we present the Wi-Fi coffee machine. You’re welcome.
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Michael Paige is Lithium's director of corporate communications and leads the company's media relations strategy.
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