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7 Futuristic Tech Concepts At MWC 2024 That Took Us By Surprise

It’s that time of year when thousands of attendees descend upon Barcelona to demo the latest and greatest mobile tech at Mobile World Congress (MWC). This year, artificial intelligence took center stage at MWC 2024, but the event was still packed with cutting-edge gadgets that make you feel like a kid again.

Some highlights include a glasses-free 3D tablet, a gaming handheld that beams video into a pair of AR smart glasses, and even a laptop with a transparent display. We wouldn’t exactly call these concepts at MWC 2024 practical, but they’re at least better than the umpteenth smartphone or smartwatch. To close out MWC 2024, here are seven tech announcements that flew under the radar, but definitely deserve your attention.

7. Affordable Foldable Smartphones

The flat brick smartphone is so overplayed at this point, but most foldable smartphones are still way too expensive. Some lesser-known brands are trying to change this by drastically reducing the entry-level price point. Energizer, which is more known for making batteries and the Hard Case P28K phone with a 28,000mAh battery, revealed the Ultimate U660S foldable that will start at around $550 and ZTE showed off its Nubia Flip 5G that will go for $600. That’s almost half the cost of the leading Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

We’re hoping the Nubia Flip 5G will usher in an era of affordable foldable clamshell phones.


6. Samsung’s Phone That Bends Into A Bracelet

Since it’s conquered foldable smartphone displays, Samsung is pushing the boundaries with its ultra flexible smartphone display called the OLED Cling Band. With a unique spine design, the OLED Cling Band can bend its 6.9-inch display completely around your wrist and convert it into a wearable, complete with a heart rate sensor. It looks like Motorola has some competition in the weird smartphone bangle category.

The OLED Cling Band is far from production-ready, but it does show off just how flexible Samsung’s displays can be.


5. A Car That Can Be Controlled Using Honor’s Eye-Tracking-Equipped Phone

It’s a little creepy to have your smartphone use AI to constantly track your eyes. However, Honor thought the best way to convince us of its AI eye-tracking system’s impressive capabilities was to control a car hands-free. Honor’s demo with its Magic 6 Pro smartphone only lets you do basic functions with the sedan, but it does open up the doors as to what this feature could potentially do.

4. Tecno’s Dynamic 1 Robot Dog That Can Jump and Climb Stairs

What better way to make AI less creepy than to shove it into a robot dog? That’s exactly what Tecno was thinking with its Dynamic 1 which can jump around, climb stairs, and even do tricks. It may not be a real dog, but you can control the Dynamic 1 with a smartphone app and you don’t have to clean up after it. Tecno says its robot dog is modeled after the German Shepherd, but we’ll let you be the judge.

3. MediaTek’s Real-Time Generative AI

We’re right back to scary applications of AI with MediaTek’s demo that shows off some impressive speed when it comes to pumping out images based on prompts. It’s a lot like OpenAI’s DALL-E, but MediaTek’s demo on a smartphone shows the AI reacting to prompts as you type in real-time. We can only see this leading to more widespread adoption of generative AI images, which we’re not so sure is a good thing.

2. Samsung’s Bendable OLED Smart Speaker

If we had a working flexible OLED display, we’d be throwing it on everything too. Not limiting it to smartphones, Samsung also throws its bendy display onto a smart speaker. When you want something more like a smart home hub, the OLED Smart Speaker rolls out its display for a larger view.

1. Xpanceo’s Holographic Smart Contact Lens

It wouldn’t be MWC without a concept that sounds like it was taken straight out of a sci-fi flick. Xpanceo wasn’t ready to have people inserting its proof-of-concept lens into their own eyes, but you can peer through the lens itself to see how it would work for mixed reality applications. This would certainly solve the comfort issues we hear about when it comes to headsets, like the Apple Vision Pro. But how do you even power smart contacts?

It’s wild to think that we can have full-on mixed reality displays sitting on top of our eyeballs.

Roman Axelrod / X

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