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15 innovative things seen at MWC 2015

Posted: 09 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:5G? connected? IoT? Project Ara? M2M?

This year's Mobile World Congress highlighted many connected devices and technologies that tend toward the universal.

What we saw ranged from Ford Motors' foldable "connected" electric bicycle to connected car keys (NXP's NFC chip inside an iPhone cover), a Project Ara Phone, M2M network technology and lots of slideware for the still nebulous 5G network.

Oh, and then, VR booth tours. Why people come to an actual booth at a trade show to get the booth tour in virtual reality remains a mystery.

While we've covered a few big announcements at the show (or before the show), the following pages are devoted to small and curious things encountered at this year's Mobile World Congress.

A common thread is a "connected life" C term talked to death at this show (or any other trade show these days) C that covers cars, cities, mobile devices and network infrastructure.

Electric bicycle gets connected

Ford showed off its connected electric bicycle called "MoDe:Me," designed for not exactly cyclists but those who are more comfortable driving cars.

Ford Electric Bike

Posing behind it is Ford's Richard Craven. His team developed the bike, entered it in Ford's internal Innovation Contest and won first prize. Craven explained his day job is working on a new user interface for new apps at Ford's programme-specific innovation group.

The idea behind the electric bike, according to Craven, is that many cities in the world want to divert trafficnot just cars clogging up streets but also the people who over-crowd public transportationto less travelled parts of the city when they go from point A to B. These smart electric bikes are one solution.

Ford E-Bike

The bike is "connected" because it comes with a companion app that looks for bike-friendly roads and figures out a best route, along with a parking space.

Further, it features indicators and a horn. When a car, person or any object impinges on the bike, its ultrasonic sensor beeps and vibrates the handles, providing a crude Advanced Driver's Assistance System (ADAS) for the traffic-wary cyclist.

It has a 200W motor and a 9-amp-hour battery to assist pedalling up to 25km/h.

Electric bike

The bike is foldable, making it easy to carry into a train or car.

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