Mobile World Congress - Day One

To say that Barcelona’s La Fira Gran Via, home of the annual Mobile World Congress, is busy would be something of an understatement.

“We hope for 19,000 people!” my driver tells me, in between railing against the masses of unlicensed cabs that operate at this time. The police (ALLEGEDLY) turn a blind eye to all of this. It’s good for the economy, right? Spain and her people, more than most nations, believes in this philosophy right now.

19,000 people is either the understatement of the century or I just can’t count. Spread across eight whole exhibition halls, you could probably fit a small Latin American nation in here as well and be none the wiser. It’s impressive. It’s loud. It’s shiny. It’s the modern way.

Keep your wits about you, because most other people don’t. Hey, it’s a mobile congress, people are forever looking at their smartphones. You think they’d be sick of them by now. It’s a high-powered affair; the men and women from all corners of the globe look slick, efficient and in the mood to do business.

But here’s the thing: Everybody is covering Nokia, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and all the other One World Order types. As you would expect, their stalls (practically the size of a mid-sized village) were teeming with excited reporters, tech-infused hangers on and bodyguards that wouldn’t look out of place in the WWE. But why copy everybody else? Do you *really* want to read ANOTHER article on the new S6? Or something else Apple want to rinse your bank account for?

No way. This is BaDoink. We’re living on the edge, kid. We want the stuff that is fresh and innovative.

Here’s a good starting point: Openshopen is a new online store promising full access and compliance with anyone that’s undertaking legal trade. Hey, yes, that’s right: sex workers, sex aid merchants… this is one company that won’t kick you out just because you’re concerned with matters of the flesh. They’re open, approachable, willing to do business and we will be bringing you more on them as soon as we can.

It was this small ‘alleyway’ of eager reps and stalls that I found some of the most exciting off-the-radar inventions that MWC had to offer. With all of these smartphones, LEDs and flashing lights, you’d think more care and consideration would be afforded to preserving your eyesight and staving off migraines.

Well, praise be to Reticare; a company who actually takes the health of the digital generation seriously. Long story short, it’s an ocular protector for screens of electronic devices. It’s surprising that more people aren’t making forays into this market. Here’s some facts: the latest smartphones and tablets now emit FIVE TIMES more short wavelength light that older models. Not only that, but children and young adults (i.e. the generations growing up with these devices) lack the natural protection that age brings. It’s a toxic combination, but Reticare and their silicone-based screen protector are here to help. If you’re at MWC, stop by and pick up a free sample. Thank me later.

Sticking with health, Neuroelectrics have created the Starstim – a non-invasive wireless neurostimulator. Its primary function is to provide assistance and understanding to those unfortunate enough to suffer from any form of neurological condition, post-stroke rehab, depression or any form of addiction. With monitoring technology you can assess your own mind. Use it well enough and epilepsy sufferers may be able to predict oncoming seizures. It’s a kind world sometimes.

But let’s end on a more light-hearted note… albeit one with tinged with death and destruction. Korean company UzBrainNet had all comers excited with their Rail Gun – a fully-immersive FPS game controller that moves as you do. The demonstration, open to anybody who wanted to try, threw you right in the middle of a pitched battle. It’s strange how quickly you adapt your movements to that of a soldier. You follow every bullet, you duck, dive, weave and strafe. Basically, you can’t help but love it.

With that in mind, I’m heading back for another go!

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