W Power 2024

A smartphone with no apps and a transparent PC, Four futuristic concepts unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2024

Many new concepts unveiled at the MWC will likely give rise to future consumer products on display at the event

Published: Mar 1, 2024 12:01:57 PM IST
Updated: Mar 1, 2024 12:07:25 PM IST

Motorola's roll-up smartphone concept intrigued visitors to MWC 2024. Motorola's roll-up smartphone concept intrigued visitors to MWC 2024.
|Image: Courtesy of Lenovo Motorola's roll-up smartphone concept intrigued visitors to MWC 2024. Motorola's roll-up smartphone concept intrigued visitors to MWC 2024. |Image: Courtesy of Lenovo

Each year, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona provides an opportunity to discover the very best in new connected devices. This 2024 edition was no exception, with many new concepts likely to give rise to future consumer products on display at the event.

A smartphone that wraps around your wrist

At the Barcelona show, no less than two manufacturers presented prototypes for smartphones that wrap around the wrist. Visitors to the Mobile World Congress were able to admire Motorola's wrap-around smartphone, first unveiled last fall at Lenovo World Tech in the USA. The idea is to be able to wear your smartphone on your wrist, carrying it around while keeping your hands free. To achieve this, the handset and its screen can curve around until the terminal clamps around the wrist, attached magnetically to a metal bracelet. Meanwhile, Samsung also presented a smartphone with a flexible screen that can wrap around the wrist. Spectacular though they are, these two concepts are not (yet) destined for commercialization.

Also read: Mobile World Congress: Robot dogs and flying cars, five gadget highlights

A smartphone with no applications

At this year's Mobile World Congress, Deutsche Telekom, in association with American start-up Brain.ai, demonstrated a highly original smartphone prototype, devoid of even the slightest application. Only an AI-powered personal assistant is installed, tasked with carrying out a multitude of practical tasks, such as organizing a vacation or booking a table at a restaurant. Still, it could be hard to imagine doing without access to your favorite social networks.

A transparent PC

Mobile World Congress is not just about smartphones, with devices like PCs also on show. This year, Lenovo stole the show in that field, with an astonishing model featuring a completely transparent screen, as seen in certain televisions. This 17-inch PC has a borderless, truly transparent MicroLED screen. The classic keyboard, meanwhile, is replaced by a panel that can act as a virtual keyboard or touch screen, for drawing, for example. Resolutely forward-looking, this prototype is not intended for commercial release.

Also read: Mobile World Congress: AI in focus at world's top mobile fair in Spain

A smart ring

Samsung is not to be outdone in terms of innovation, with the presentation of the Galaxy Ring, a smart ring. Its integrated sensors are designed to provide real-time data on the wearer's state of fitness (or sleep), but the South Korean manufacturer is remaining discreet about its actual functionalities. Still at the prototype stage, it should be on the market by the end of the year. While the Oura ring is the current leader in this area, other major tech manufacturers, such as Honor, are also said to be working on this type of product.