Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 has officially opened its doors. And while we’ve already seen some big headlines being made, there’s still loads of new tech to explore on the show floor. So let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the first day of MWC 2016.
SanDisk Extreme Pro microSD cards
Memory cards might not sound like the most exciting tech to see at MWC 2016, but the new SanDisk Extreme Pro microSD cards really are impressive.
With either 64GB or 128GB of storage, these tiny memory cards are fast enough for 4K video. That means you could slot one into the new Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge and record ultra HD home movies straight to the card so you don’t fill up your phone.
5G starts real-world testing
Verizon, America’s largest 4G network, announced it’s started testing the next generation of mobile internet connection, 5G, in real-world scenarios.
While 5G speeds haven’t been defined yet, Verizon is promising multiple gigabit per second speeds – hundreds of times faster than 4G. That would give your phone fibre-optic broadband performance wherever you are. And Verizon says it’ll be ready to launch 5G as soon as next year.
myFC JAQ – the world’s smallest fuel cell charger
myFC is a company focused on charging your phone in a way that’s a bit better for the environment. Its new JAQ charger is a pocket-sized power pack that can recharge your phone using nothing but sea water.
The JAQ is a small gadget that you can plug into your smartphone. When you slot a sea-water-filled Power Card into the JAQ, it starts generating electricity instantly, giving you 1,800mAh of power to recharge your phone.
Graphene gets shown off
Graphene, the incredible one-atom thick material that’s set to revolutionise the world, has its own section at MWC 2016. There are 15 prototypes on display showing how it could change the future of mobile technology.
A tiny wearable sensor, for example, can track heart beats with incredible accuracy, while a robotic hand shows how ultra-thin graphene sensors could be added to gloves to sense temperature, pressure and more.
There’s even a new graphene supercapacitor on show. This gadget can charge much faster than normal batteries – and because it’s made with graphene, it’s small enough to fit in a phone.
The bottom line for all the prototypes on show is that our smartphones could soon get smaller, cheaper and more powerful.
Next year’s smartphones will power high-end virtual reality
The CEO of Qualcomm, the company that makes the Snapdragon processors found in most smartphones, has said the next generation Snapdragon will be powerful enough to run high-spec virtual reality like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
These state-of-the-art headsets run two streams of high definition video at 90 frames per second, at the same time as generating 360⁰ sound and tracking all your head movements. That means we can expect a lot of processing power in 2017’s top smartphones.
We’ll be reporting plenty more live from Mobile World Congress 2016, so stay tuned to The Lowdown for the latest tech innovations.