This year was the first time that ICP Search attended MWC- and what a show it was. The Connected Media team sent across three consultants, Jerson (Contracts Business Manager) Matt (Cyber Security Expert) and myself, with Melissa and Patrick from the Satcomms team. I think it is fair to say that we were all blown away with the scale and diversity of companies attending, not to mention the tech on show. Below are a couple of observations related to the areas I work in at least...
The Connected Home is becoming a reality
One thing that has been great observing over the last few years is the rise of IoT and it's practical applications in the connected media world. MWC was full of innovators answering the call, including AT&T with their connected home demonstration. It is clear that the technology is almost there, with some pressing issues around security to iron out of course, but various operators and telcos are trialling out these systems. Connecting our OTT services, lights, heating, security and much more to these systems will revolutionize our world, no doubt about it.
Still, the burning question that strikes me is how can these solutions and systems be monetised? I met with a start up on field trials with Vodafone, whilst it was a great set up, they couldn't answer how Vodafone, or their other customers would retain them, or how they would monetise with the end customers. Do we subscribe per month to these services, or let ad tech companies come in and take up the slack? Time will tell.
VR & AR continues to progress
Anyone walking around any of the halls at MWC will notice the presence of VR, it's on most stands these days. I had the displeasure of trying out Nokia's latest Ozo projects. In this particular video, I was confronted with some pretty horrifying footage of a dystopian future, domestic violence and a man pushing a power drill into his own skull- all in two minutes. Needless to say, it was terrifying, I'm just glad it wasn't interactive. I cannot fault the technology or the innovation here and can really see these devices taking a centre stage in the way we digest content in the immediate future.
AR seems to be pushing forward live broadcasting graphics which is great to see- I think a lot of us take for granted that AR has been under our noses for a while now, especially in live sports and election results.
Again, and I think this is a running theme to MWC, the innovation is there, but the industry is still finding it's feet on where it will slot into our everyday lives. One that I particularly enjoyed was a Korean company, Naviworks, dedicated to creating VR games, they look pretty slick! Samsung also demonstrated what I can only describe as a VR roller coaster, looked terrifying and nauseating at the same time.
What's next for the Connect Media World?
I particularly enjoyed MWC as each Hall has a solution to a particular problem or question in a connected world. Be it OTT platforms, connected cars, video ad tech or security. It is clear that over the next few years, these dots are all going to be joined, slowly but surely. Our homes will look a little different over the next 5 years I would say. Two questions to leave this point on;
1) How on earth are we actually going to make money out of this innovation?
2) How do we secure these devices to stop hackers turning everything on it's head?
See you next year, Barcelona...