Mobile in 2016: MWC & GDC Recap

Mobile World Congress

Each year, anyone and everyone in the mobile market makes their way to Barcelona, Spain for Mobile World Congress. The annual conference is both an exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring executives and representatives from every corner of the industry and the world

Game Developers Conference

GDC is the longest-running professionals-only gaming industry event in the country. This conference tends to focus more on gaming than mobile technologies, but there is still some overlap in regards to industry trends.


Major Themes

While these are two very different conferences, several major themes have shown up between them.


With mobile data usage at all-time high, several partnerships have formed to develop a 5G platform. You shouldn’t expect to see any 5G devices for a few years, but with 360 video streaming and more wearable devices hitting the market each year, a unified 5G platform is critical for the future of the mobile ecosystem.


Augmented and virtual reality is in the spotlight this year. LG announced a new headset exclusive to their new G5 phone and Sony recently unveiled Project Morpheus to be PlayStation VR. Oculus and HTC continue to dominate the high-end spectrum of VR with their tethered devices, and it appears there will be no new competitors for them (this year). There is still a mix of smartphone and PC-powered devices showing up so it’ll be interesting to see which end of the spectrum gathers the most momentum.

Connected Devices

Between a smart tennis racquet and toothbrush that tracks your form, there is no shortage of connected devices hitting the marketing this year. A number of these devices will not be for the average consumer, but are still noteworthy. One example is the new Garmin Vivoactive HR; a smartwatch that tracks location, heart rate, and detailed workout and training information that coaches can download to monitor progress. Since the wearable market continues to grow each year, we expect to see more specialized devices in the future.

Cognitive Computing

Nearly every platform, application and device gathers usage data, but what do you do with it? Until now, people have analyzed the data and given it meaning for businesses. IBM and Google, among others, are working to develop AIs to do the computing instead. It will still take a few years to perfect, but the goal is to have computers do the thinking and analysis for us by sorting through the terabytes of data and finding trends and patterns humans may not have otherwise noticed.


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Published by Bottle Rocket in IoT, Innovation, Strategy and Insights