Mobile World Congress 2017 day 1: Virtual reality, driverless/electric cars, and artificial intelligence
Mobile World Congress 2017 officially kicked off today with over 100,000 attendees exploring booths, attending sessions and learning about the latest in mobile technology. It’s no surprise that augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) technologies were present at almost every booth, with goggle-faced conference-goers everywhere you turned. Artificial intelligence (AI) also made a big splash with IBM’s First Thinking Sculpture; it shows yet another example of how art and technology can merge to make something beautiful.
Throughout the day, speakers gave insight into how AI will affect the future of technology, and eventually, our everyday lives. Gummi Hafsteinsson, Product Management Director for Google Assistant, touched on the importance of conversation. As tech has gotten more complicated, the interface users need is the one where they can have a natural dialogue with the device. That’s precisely where AI comes into play. As Rob High, IBM Fellow, VP, CTO, IBM Watson, explains, “cognitive computing is about amplifying human cognition.” As much as we can do things well, there are limitations in what we can do.
When it comes to mobile devices, cars are the biggest of them all. So while other mobile technology has astronomically advanced over the past decade, cars have lagged, specifically, electric cars. Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E Holdings LTD, wanted to change that. He and his team created Formula E (“E” stands for electric, of course), a global racing championship for electric cars. They say that it’s more than just a race, it is a part of the tech revolution and the future of sustainable mobility. While great challenges lie ahead, by getting people interested in racing and large brands on board, we can hope to see more companies investing in the technologies and faster adoption of electric cars.
In addition to electric, Denis Sverdlov and Daniel Simon of Roborace and Charge, believe driverless vehicles should not just be for everyone, but for everything. We were even lucky enough to see the unveiling of the first driverless, electric racecar (as pictured above) today at Mobile World Congress. With five million Uber rides taken every day in 450 cities, it’s clear the combination of the impact of electric and driverless technology will change the world both on our roads and on the racetrack.