Gadgets that caught our eye at this year’s Mobile World Congress
IKEA Wireless Charging Furniture
Ikea is now so much more than reindeer meatballs and flat-pack bookshelves. The Swedish furniture manufacturer has unveiled its new line of high-tech furniture, including bedside tables, lamps and desks, which is embedded with wireless built-in charging spots known as Qi. The smart furniture, which indicates where you should rest your mobile device for charging, is due to be rolled out across Europe this coming April.
Samsung Galaxy S6
The latest generation Samsung Galaxy has discarded the cheap looking plastic casing for a much smother glass and metal look. The highly anticipated smartphone, which comes outfitted with technologies used to run Samsung’s new payment system, Samsung Pay, goes on sale this April. The Samsung Galaxy flagship’s other notable features include a re-jigged fingerprint sensor that no longer requires users to swipe, a 16-megapixel camera and an infrared heart rate monitor for the keep fit brigade.
Lenovo Pocket Projector
Like the Beam and Smart Beam, Lenovo’s mini projector allows users stream content and video from a smartphone or tablet onto a wall, ceiling or any other flat surface. The Lenovo Pocket Projector also features two in-built speakers and a rechargeable battery that lasts well over the two hour mark. The pocket projector connects to a mobile device via a micro USB cable or Bluetooth. The projector itself is about 4 inches long and an inch thick and is compact enough to carry to a meeting or use comfortably in bed. Lenovo informs us that their projector gives its users the ability to ‘go big on entertainment whenever the moment strikes’ and goes on sale from May 2015.
The Bluesmart Carry-On Case
Fly safe in the knowledge that with the Bluesmart Carry-On Case, you’ll never be charged for over-sized luggage again. Another example of how the Internet of Things is helping to improve our everyday existence, this “connected carry-on” has an in-built scale, which it uses to weigh itself; the weight being displayed on an app on your smartphone. Even more brilliantly, a battery-pack charges your mobile devices while you travel and its SIM card helps you trace the case on a map should you lose it. The Bluesmart Carry-On Case goes on sale later this year.
The HTC One M9
This latest version of HTC’s premier smartphone arrives on the market with a somewhat smaller aluminium casing than the previous two versions. Sporting a smart two-tone finish of gold and silver, the HTC One M9 no longer features the much vaunted “ultrapixel” camera on the back, showcasing a 20-megapixel sensor in its place. The new HTC One is expected sometime this March and its price is expected to exceed an eye-watering €800.
HTC Re Vive
Probably the most talked about device at this year’s MWC, the Re Vive is HTC’s eagerly anticipated virtual reality headset. Made in partnership with the Valve Corporation, this massive piece of wearable tech only runs on Valve VR. The HTC Re Vive’s two infrared trackers and dozens of in-built sensors allow gamers to roam freely around a 15×15 foot room, while pairing with wireless controllers for interaction with virtual objects. Expected to hit retailers this year, no pricing was announce but you can probably guess that it won’t come cheap.
Huawei Talkband B2
Developed by the Chinese mobile giant, the Huawei Talkband B2 is a fitness tracking wearable that features a slim and simple touchscreen. Like most fitness bands on the market it tracks movement, monitors steps taken and pairs to both iOS and Android phones. More interestingly however, is how the main unit can be popped out of its band and worn as an earpiece for taking phone calls. A worthy competitor to its Samsung and Garmin peers, the Huawei Talkband B2 is available of the market from April.
LG Watch Urbane LTE
The most surprising thing about LG’s fourth smartwatch is that it doesn’t run on Android, but on WebOS instead. The Urban LTE is cellular connected and comes with an in-built microphone and speaker that allows users make phone calls without being linked to a phone. Like the recently announced Apple Watch, the Urban LTE will be fitted-out with NFC mobile payment features. Pricing has yet to be announce, but is expected to come in below that of the Apple Watch.
ZTE SPro2 Smart Projector
Squeezing in alongside the Lenovo Pocket Projector and the Smart Beam and just getting in ahead of the crowdsourced Beam, the ZTE SPro2 Smart Projector is the latest addition to the pico projector market. This portable projector has 16GB of memory and, unlike the Lenovo and Smart Beam, doesn’t require smartphone to access your media. Far exceeding its closest rivals, it also has three hours of battery life, meaning your likely to be able to watch a whole movie on it. The ZTE arrives on the market this summer.
The Jolla Tablet
We couldn’t go without mentioning the very impressive Jolla Tablet. Named best tablet at the MWC, the world’s first crowdsourced slate is only 8.3 mm thick, and runs on Jolla’s independent sailfish operating system. The Jolla features a 7.85 inch LCD display screen with 330 ppi resolution, a 5 megapixel camera, Intel quad-core with 2GB of RAM, as well as 32 to 64GB of internal storage. Will the Jolla be a serious contender to the iPad and Nexus? We’ll have to wait until later this year to find out.