5 Coolest, Wackiest Things We Saw at MWC19 Shanghai

As die-hard gamers and avid tech evangelists, we are always on the lookout for latest and exciting products in this space. Luckily, we got a quick glimpse of the newest developments behind the curtains at MWC19 Shanghai.

Held from 26 to 28 June 2019, MWC19 Shanghai (short for Mobile World Congress) is one of the telecommunication industry’s annual flagship conferences held in Shanghai. Here’s a quick glimpse at the five coolest and wackiest tech at MWC19 Shanghai:

1. 5G ‘Always Connected’ Laptops from Qualcomm

Whether you are a workaholic, media buff, or somewhere in between the two, Qualcomm’s latest 5G-enabled, ‘always connected’ laptops should be right up your alley. At their Shanghai booth, Qualcomm showcased laptops running Windows 10 natively on their latest 8cx processors. These processors are substantially smaller (slightly bigger than your typical Polaroid or business card) than the typical Intel processors, and are enabled with 5G connectivity.

As these devices run Windows natively, you can expect to do all the word processing, social media browsing, and video streaming as you do on any other laptop. And because the laptops are 5G-enabled, you can execute the abovementioned activities, anywhere. The smaller processor also allows for substantially larger real estate for the battery – we’re looking at an average of 20 hours battery life on some of these.

MWC19: Chips
One of many chips that could possibly change the world.

2. Cloud gaming on One Plus 7 Pro 5G powered by Tencent Instant Play

As mentioned previously, 5G is set to change our world, and the sphere of gaming as well. I got a chance to try out 5G cloud gaming first-hand by running Rise of the Tomb Raider on a One Plus 7 Pro 5G, and while there was the occasional frame rate hiccup during gameplay, the input latency was far lower than expected. In fact, I would say it’s comparable to playing a console on your average HD/4K TV.

MWC19: Cloud gaming

Seeing cloud gaming in action has made me more optimistic about high-profile, incoming services such as Google Stadia. While I don’t think cloud gaming will replace home consoles or dedicated gaming rigs, I do foresee that cloud gaming coupled with 5G could replace mobile games on smartphones and handhelds (I’m looking at you, Nintendo Switch). While I am a huge fan of handhelds and I love my Nintendo Switch and PlayStation Vita dearly, the day when streaming games like Rise the Tomb Raider or Uncharted on-the-go becomes a reality is the day when a truly dedicated handheld gaming device is over. However, the one caveat I would highlight is that these 5G solutions would likely work best with single-player experiences for the time being, as even the slightest input delay is sure to frustrate competitive multiplayer gamers.

3. IoT Face Mask from NBeauty 5G优肤

Taking the top spot of the wackiest piece of tech in this listicle is NBeauty 5G优肤’s IoT-enhanced Skin Robot. It utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) to diagnose conditions and suggest treatments accordingly. The face mask device uses NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) technology and costs only 20 RMB (about SG$4) to replenish and restore users’ skin – it even claims to reduce wrinkles, prevent whelks, and improve sleep! 

The core product is made up of four components: a 5G skin robot device, a one-time use face mask, a skincare diagnosis AI System by MSP Japan, and a mobile app that ties it all together.  

MWC19: Face Mask

This is a simplified version of how it works: 

  1. The face mask helps to measure and diagnose the condition of the user’s skin by collecting data. 
  2. The data collected is transmitted to the app.
  3. The app then feedbacks the necessary implementations to the mask connected and sends pulses and massages the skin to help with the absorption of the face mask according to the user’s needs identified by the skin robot. 
  4. All the collected data is then processed by the AI in the cloud to provide follow-ups in the form of customised solutions for each individual user.

4. Smart Buildings by Singtel

If you have ever wondered what the future looks like in a day-to-day setting, perhaps Singtel’s Smart Building exhibit can give some indication of the things you can expect to see. 

In its MWC19 demo, Singtel showed off its intelligent access controls — IoT cameras and gantries with the ability to regulate personnel coming into and going out of – and even staying – within a building. 

MWC19: Singtel Smart Building

With all its IoT devices connected via a unified network across the building, an overarching AI analyses the number of people in a building and identifies which facilities or spaces they are currently occupying. Now combine that with the other devices that account for weather conditions. Voila, we have a building that knows the number of users in it, and it can then provide maximum comfort. For example, it could fine-tune and optimise the temperature of the building’s air-con while reducing power consumption at the same time.

5. 4K Live Streams of Sporting Events via 5G by China Mobile Migu

Nine giant sets of brightly-lit 4K TVs caught my attention as I was walking through the lifestyle-focused space at the conference. Simultaneously, the TVs showcased sporting event live streams sported no noticeable delays. China Mobile’s streaming service Migu is promising 4K live streaming of international sporting events on their 5G networks when it rolls out in China. 

MWC19: Migu TV

One can only dream about the day when such a service arrives on the shores of our little red dot (and for a reasonable price). 

Unfortunately, we still do not have any information on the details of 5G’s rollout here. So for now, this is nothing more than a pipe dream for us at this point.

With all that said, one can still only at best make an informed guess on what kinds of technologies we’ll be seeing in the near future, and especially in our country. As far as these things go, some of this tech will take years to fully develop, and many others will probably never see the light of day past MWC19. Will we benefit from any of the doohickeys we saw here?

Probably not in the near future, but it’s definitely happening.

Jeremy Tan

Video Games. Football. Eating. Sometimes I write :)

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