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Predicting the WOW at MWC 2012

All the mobile blogs have recently run articles about what to expect at MWC 2012.  They've all said roughly the same thing: New handsets from HTC, new handsets from Nokia, new handsets from LG, a new tablet from Samsung, and lots of other new phones and tablets.  Quad-core, tablets, low-end and high-end.

Unfortunately none of these articles answered the big question:  What will make someone say WOW! at MWC this year?

Here are a few speculations of things that Grizzly Analytics is predicting and hoping to see.

1.  Cellphone pico-projectors: As we wrote in August, this is a new hardware feature that most people discuss for business users, but we think is coming soon for media consumption as well.  Who wouldn't rather watch a movie on the wall instead of on a 4" screen?  The more we do on our mobiles, the more a projector would be useful and fun.  Companies that have worked in the area include Apple, Samsung, LG, STMicroElectronics (MWC hall 7), Texas Instruments (MWC hall 8), Foxlink, and others.

2.  Eyeglass displays:  Also called a "heads-up display," this is always seen as a geek product, but remember, years ago the same was true about cellphone earpieces.  Eyeglass displays might be the next way people can watch movies or browse on buses or trains.  Rumors came out yesterday that Google's working on them, but we've been expecting them from Nokia and Apple since early last year.  Companies that have worked in the area include Apple and Nokia, as well as Fraunhofer (MWC hall 2), MicroVision, 4iiii, and more.

3.  Indoor location applications:  The more we all get used to GPS on our phones, the more we want it to work indoors.  SenseWhere (MWC hall 1) is giving away an Android app that offers mapping, navigation, and more location services within the MWC conference itself.  Other companies in the area include Pole Star (MWC hall 2), Insiteo (MWC hall 2) and more.  Moreover, all the major mobile companies are working on this, including phone makers, OS makers and hardware makers, and we expect to see some of them showing off in this area.  For more on indoor location platforms that you can deploy now, see our report on Indoor Location Services. For more on technology research in progress at all the major mobile companies, see our report on Indoor Location Positioning Technology.

4.  Faster phone-to-phone wireless:  TransferJet looks like it's getting close, with Sony and Toshiba expected to show high-speed wireless transfers soon.  The consortium themselves have a booth in hall 7. Lots of other companies are part of the consortium, so expect some other show-offs as well.

5.  NFC - it's not just for payments anymore:  NFC payments and ticketing are getting more and more common.  But this year we expect to see NFC for lots of new applications, such as selecting printers or appliances to connect to a cellphone, checking-in to places, getting information from ads (similar to QR codes), initiating file transfers and sharing, and more.  The technology may be coming to phones for payments, but it'll be used for lots more.  Which application will really WOW us?

Of course, these are just a few of the potential WOWs at MWC.  Whether we're right or wrong about these, we sure hope to be WOWed by more than new phone models that are the same but a bit more so.

As always, we're happy to hear what you think, or what you want to see, or what you yourself will be WOWing people with.  We're also happy to meet with you at MWC.  E-mail us at info@grizzlyanalytics.com.

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