What you can expect at Mobile World Congress 2018

By Jonathan Crowl

With more than 108,000 attendees in 2017, the Mobile World Congress event is the largest global gathering focused on mobility in all its forms, including its applications in transforming enterprise business.

Months before Mobile World Congress 2018 draws its huge crowds to Barcelona, conference attendees are already buzzing about what can be expected from this year’s iteration. The innovations and events that take place will shape mobility trends around the world for the next year, giving attendees a first look at how mobile innovations will bring change and transformation to facets of their everyday lives.

Ahead of the conference, here’s a look at what to expect in 2018.

Sneak peek of Mobile World Congress 2018

One of the most anticipated aspects of Mobile World Congress 2018 will be the unveiling of better versions of technologies that have been in development for years, including new mobile solutions. Two innovations likely to be showcased include an abundance of facial recognition scanners, according to uSwitch, and a much-anticipated prototype of foldable, bendable phones.

On the B2B side, exhibitors will likely offer better applications of artificial intelligence into mobile technologies, as well as expanded mobile hardware options to drive daily enterprise activities. Higher-resolution screens, faster performance and broader consumer choice will be heavily valued after years of seeing the tablet market dominated by a few leading brands.

With the expansion of business cases of artificial intelligence, you can expect a strong focus on the topic. Now that the technology is readily available and more and more businesses are using it — and Black Mirror, yet again, terrified us — questions come into play regarding the ethics of AI. Rob High, IBM Fellow, VP, Watson CTO, will explore the ethics of artificial intelligence in his session.

After a year of security breaches throughout the enterprise world, mobile security will be of high interest to a global audience, which is one reason McAfee CEO Christopher Young will appear as one of the keynote speakers. Multiple keynote speakers from the world of finance are expected to attest to the growing dynamic relationship between finance and mobile solutions, especially where financial security, global transactions and blockchain development are concerned.

Other trends to watch

Thanks to heavy press coverage of the event, Mobile World Congress is a popular place for device manufacturers to unveil new products. Expect major brands to be aggressive in showing off their consumer-focused solutions, including smartphones, while also making a case for how these new mobile devices can serve enterprise brands in a BYOD environment. Wearables, including smartwatches, will also be a focal point, with both consumers and B2B brands eager for the next generation of technology.

Innovative enterprise organizations will also be curious to see what developers can do with immersive experience technologies like virtual and augmented reality, which have begun to enter the mainstream for marketing but have yet to reach a tipping point, and which blend the digital and physical worlds as well as any other mobile technology.

Of course, Mobile World Congress 2018 will always have the element of surprise in its favor, which is why business leaders, journalists and mobile developers alike will be closely following the events at the conference. Surprises are in store, and it remains to be seen which developers and mobile solutions will steal the show.