MWC Shanghai 2018 brought promises of 5G smartphones and more

This photo taken on June 27, 2018 shows people visiting a Samsung booth during the Mobile World Conference in Shanghai. — AFP pic
This photo taken on June 27, 2018 shows people visiting a Samsung booth during the Mobile World Conference in Shanghai. — AFP pic

SHANGHAI, July 1 — The future of 5G was the dominant topic at MWC Shanghai 2018, with Huawei, HTC, Ericsson and OnePlus all vowing to participate in the growth of the infrastructure and introduce 5G devices.

Meanwhile, Vivo showcased groundbreaking TOF 3D Sensing Technology, and Samsung hosted a smart speaker reference platform — is a Bixby smart speaker on the way?

MWC Shanghai 2018 took place June 27-29, welcoming the “Entire Mobile and Technology Ecosystem” to its show floor and providing industry leaders a stage to discuss their visions for the future, 5G in particular, as it is designed to provide a solution to the hard-pressed 4G networks that are struggling to meet user demands for fast connections.

Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu delivered a keynote speech titled “Bringing MBB (mobile broadband) to a New Level with 5G,” announcing the company’s plans to help global carriers roll out the infrastructure, launching E2E SA 5G commercial systems.

Huawei also confirmed a 5G smartphone as early as June 2019, “allowing consumers that want higher speeds to enjoy an incredible 5G experience as soon as possible.” 

The brand will also deliver a 5G-ready Kirin chip next year.

OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau also outlined that the Chinese tech company aims to produce a 5G smartphone next year, according to a report by PCMag, which notes that the “announcements came as part of a conversation about OnePlus’ product and community philosophy.”

Furthermore, Lau reportedly also said that the company, which has until now focused on direct sales in the US, may be coming to a US carrier, or carriers. Lau didn’t specify who.

HTC and Ericsson announced partnerships with China Mobile at MWC Shanghai 2018, citing a shared drive toward accelerating the production and deployment of 5G devices and infrastructure.

For HTC that means pushing their vision for VR/AR products, notes ZDNet. And Ericsson will target IoT Connectivity and IoT ecosystems including manufacturing, health, and intelligent transport.

3D sensing and a new smart speaker on the horizon?

Another highlight of the event came from Vivo, the maker of the first truly bezel-less smartphone, which demonstrated its Time of Flight 3D Sensing Technology. It essentially consists of a bunch of sensors — 300,000, in fact, which is 10 times more than Apple’s Face ID.

Vivo’s sensors can map objects up to 3 metres away. Not only could it provide impressive 3D facial recognition but it may be useful for AR developers for motion recognition and user gesture detection.

Samsung was also in attendance, showcasing its latest technologies, including its Exynos processor, image sensor and more.

Also making an appearance was a ‘Samsung smart speaker platform’ based on several of the brand’s components, which could be used to supply other manufacturers — or put together in a ‘rumored’ future Bixby smart speaker.

And according to Sammobile, there was a touchscreen display spotted that allows users to control their music and smart home devices. — AFP

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