It wouldn’t be a trade show, from the technology industry, without some quirky announcements. Stuff you just wouldn’t expect from technology companies, but also wouldn’t be surprised to see. Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023, which recently concluded in Barcelona, had quite a few of these announcements.
Here’s a look at a few of them.
Nokia gets a new logo: The iconic Finnish telecoms firm Nokia unveiled a new logo at MWC in Barcelona. The new logo serves as a reminder that the company hasn’t released a good, let alone half-decent, phone in years. Crucially, the new logo also reveals that the company is turning over a new leaf. Its focus is no longer just on manufacturing smartphones.
“In most people’s minds, we are still a successful mobile phone brand, but this is not what Nokia is about,” Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark told Bloomberg. “We want to launch a new brand that is focusing very much on the networks and industrial digitalization, which is a completely different thing from the legacy mobile phones.”
The new logo is five different shapes, coming together, to spell Nokia. “We built on the heritage of the previous logo, but made it feel more contemporary and digital, to reflect our current identity,” Lundmark wrote in a press release. In fact, the new Nokia logo reminded people of the time Kia, the car company, redesigned its logo.
if i had a nickel for every time a company whose name contains ‘kia’ changed their logo and eschewed glyphs from the letterforms to make everything appear minimal and angular, i’d have two nickels, which isn’t a lot, but it’s weird that it happened twice— jeeves (@jeeveswilliams) February 26, 2023
(first one is nokia) pic.twitter.com/9WJVvuApCf
Xiaomi’s 300W demo: Are you one of those people that constantly forget to charge their phones? Well, thanks to Chinese smartphone manufacturers that’s largely been a thing of the past. Xiaomi posted a demo from China, on the sidelines of MWC, that aims to push the boundaries even further. This is in response to Realme having the global launch (at MWC as well) of its GT3 smartphone, which features a 240W charger.
Just four months after breaking the 200W threshold, Xiaomi is at it again. The demo showcases a phone that can fully charge itself in under five minutes. The 300W charger is the same size as the earlier 210W charger, according to the company. This is thanks to a better modular design.
The demo featured a Redmi Note 12 Pro+ (with a modified 4,100mAh) battery and a 300W charger. The smartphone went from 0-20 percent in just over a minute. The 50 percent mark was reached in under two and a half minutes.
Yes, this kind of speed is mind-blowing, but is it necessary? With smartphones lasting longer and longer, and most people charging their phones at night, one wonders who the target audience is for this kind of tech. Nonetheless, it is very impressive.
Tecno and its Chameleon Coloring Technology: Tecno isn’t a brand a lot of people have heard of. They aren’t a behemoth like Samsung and Apple. Nonetheless, they came to MWC, introducing their new Chameleon Coloring Technology.
When the technology is embedded into a smartphone, it can produce a variety of colour patterns at just the touch of a button. This is a full-spectrum electrically-controller prism colouring technology. The kicker is that there are over a thousand colour options available.
Let’s break this down. This concept phone’s back panel is made out of a grid of prisms, which are subjected to an electric signal that makes them physically move. When the prism shifts and the light reaches it, a different colour is produced.
Mercedes-Benz and WebEx meetings: Not a smartphone, not a tablet, or something to do with augmented reality. Mercedes and Cisco announced a new partnership at Mobile World Congress that will offer users the option of taking meetings directly from their car, while on the go or parked.
You can tell your peers that you're Zooming while cruising. The only difference here is that you’d be using Cisco's Webex meeting app. The two companies are calling it the “optimal mobile office experience”. The Webex Meetings and Calling app uses either onboard WiFi or a cellular connection and will be available for download in 2024. Calls will be limited to audio-only while the car is in motion.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist
Also read: Mobile World Congress: The six most future-forward gadgets