I think this must be around my 16th year attending Mobile World Congress, a flagship event that has tracked the ups and downs of the mobile industry through revolutions like early GSM phones through the '3G bubble' and into the mobile broadband and smartphone revolutions that have so massively impacted our connected lives today. What really amazes me is how ARM has been at the center of that story right from the beginning and we continue to be excited and pushing the boundaries today.
So this year, in amongst the phone and tablet displays we start to see an increasing amount of ‘wearables’ showing up. We have seen devices such as smart watches for a few years now, but what struck me this year at MWC is how these devices are now starting to work their way into the mobile lifestyle story that we have see evolving over the last 20+ years since the early days of GSM.
An impressive range of ARM powered wearables were on show at the ARM booth ranging from fitness bands, smartwatches, VR headsets and even the LifeBeam body sensing hat.
So saving your feet from the miles of walking around the huge exhibition halls in Barcelona, not to mention the overwhelming of your senses from the incredible showmanship of the mobile industry, here is my round-up of what stood out for me in wearables at MWC2015.
Omate. When someone wears something it becomes personal, a reflection of personal choice and style. The ability to seamlessly integrate technology into wearables and make a wide range of styles is becoming critical … one size most definitely doesn’t fit all. Our friends at Omate get it, they are coming out with some amazing fashion inspired designs and we were proud to have an early sample of the Omate Lutetia on the ARM booth, the first dedicated fashion smart watch for women based on the ARM powered Mediatek Aster chipset.
LG Urbane, LTE and webos. Break free from your tether!! This (I believe) is the first LTE watch and as such doesn’t need to tether to your smartphone but instead connects directly to a cellular LTE network. LG bringing their WebOS to wearables is also a first and a quick look at the device at the show seems like they have made a very nice job.
Kairos. We were proud to have an exclusive preview of the Cortex-M3 based Kairos on the ARM booth at MWC. This watch fuses traditional analog timepiece functionality with a smart watch overlay, it generated a lot of attention and we are looking forward to seeing it released.
Huawei watch. Not the first wearable for the Chinese giant, but this marks their first Android Wear device. I had a chance to try one on at the show, check it out against my pebble – what do you think? The design quality was very high and comes in a number of finish options.
Kronoz …… This image somehow summed up where we are heading. Diversity of product is key, a design, style and price point for all is the key to the smartwatch market.
Smart Ring. Gesture control via a Cortex-M powered smart ring!! Control your smartphone via BluetoothLE ring. We were proud to have a demo of this amazing device on the ARM booth at MWC15.
360Fashion. What about beyond the wrist… ARM had the opportunity to catch-up with 360fashion to gain an insight into the incredible melting pot of fashion wear meets technology. High glamour, high creativity and high impact certainly grabs the attention and perhaps starts to paint the picture of where we are heading in wearables.
Thanks David. The LG Watch Urbane LTE also intrigued me. This watch looks like a sports watch and it makes mobile payments over NFC. Is that a watch or a phone?
I also liked the LG G Watch and LG G Watch R. Both look stylish and functional. These 3 watches are all powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 processor.
I also stopped by the HTC booth to check out the HTC Grip powered by a STMicroelectronics STM32. You could have a different one to match every colored outfit that you have.
I shared some pictures in my blog #MWC15: More than Just Mobile: Servers, IFC, Auto and Wearables Too!