• News March 10, 2017

The last week of February has long been an important date in the calendars of tech PRs, journalists and employees of leading edge tech companies from all over the world – the annual descent of branded chargers, high-profile product launches and giveaway one-upmanship on Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2017.

And a few members of the Finn Partners team went along to support our client IEEE for the duration.
 
As the title suggests, the theme this year was ‘The Next Element’, which quite impressively managed to take 2015’s bold ‘Mobile is Everything’ mantra up a notch. In truth, the rather back to basics theme was spot on (and I’m not just referring to Nokia’s relaunch of the 3310). Mobile is at the heart of innovation, and innovation is at the heart of mobile - with mobile influencing or defining almost everything that we create in our hyper-connected world, from cities to vehicles right through to our homes.  Looking around the show this year, and through our conversations with exhibitors and visitors,  it was refreshing to see so many people embracing the idea that mobile is so much more than a communications device or technology, but is instead - and should be respected as - a fundamental component in our everyday lives.
 
Beyond mobile, Virtual Reality was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the hottest tech, stealing the show for the second year running. After making a formal introduction last year, VR really was on the tip of everyone’s tongue this time around, and as the tech has moved on from the mostly tethered iterations of 2015, on-stand demos from the likes of Nokia, HTC and Peugeot were more immersive, exciting and downright jaw-dropping than anything we’d ever experienced before -Samsung practically had a full on rollercoaster on its booth!  Gone were the static, 2D worlds and taking their place were true 360-degree universes just waiting to be explored, with excitable conversations ensuing about the potential of the rapidly advancing tech, particularly as it converges even further with mobile.
 
IEEE was perfectly placed to ride this wave, with an innovative ‘UniVRse’ experience on-stand that invited attendees to experience the meeting of virtual and physical reality and interact with real world objects in a Tron-like virtual environment.  With a Professors Corner comprised of a truly amazing group of senior IEEE members, the Finn Partners team hosted stimulating conversations with a good cross-section of the European tech, broadcast and business media to explore the endless possibilities that VR presents beyond the entertainment world and the revolutionary use cases within healthcare, training, and education to name a few.