Fresh back from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and filled with lots of inspiration, here are the top themes we found at one of the most important events in the mobile industry calendar, attended by over 70,000.
The open web
One of the most talked about ideas at Mobile World Congress was Mozilla’s new mobile Firefox operating system, set to launch mid-2013. It’s designed for inexpensive, operator-controlled Smartphones in emerging markets.
Their aim is to meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online and the first devices will be arriving in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.
It will also give Firefox the opportunity to level the playing field with Apple and Android, who now control more than 90 percent of the Smartphone market.
Connected cars were a big focus this year, with Ford, Chrysler, Volvo, Intel and Qualcomm, all showcasing their connected cars.
Ford was allowing people to demo its SYNC technology by connecting a personal smartphone, while excitedly talking about the launch of their app developer's programme.
Qualcomm, whose chips and tech power some of the best mobile devices on the market, was demonstrating everything from 4G video streamed into the back headrests of cars, to real-time Google Maps sat nav with instant traffic updates.
It's clear that connectivity is going to reach into every aspect our lives, with company’s showcasing connected health technology, to devices that when you’re out of the home can allow you to turn your oven on, control the temperature in your home and even feed your pets.
There was also fascinating report from the GSMA, announced at MWC, which outlines how mobile will transform lives in the next five years, especially in the developing world. This will include saving one million lives in Africa and using connected devices to feed over 40 million people in 2017.
The growth in devices connected to the Internet is set to far outstrip even that of Smartphones. The firm Analysys Mason predicted there will be 2.1 billion machine to machine connections, in under 10 years.
4G: 'from analogue to digital'
There are a huge number of 4G/LTE-focused businesses in the exhibition halls, and AT&T believe that 4G (coupled with cloud services) will change every industry. GSMA describes the leap from 3G to 4G to the shift from "analogue to digital".
4G could be a big step-change for mobile media, opening up richer content experiences for media owners and brands, particular in mobile video, allowing us to move beyond restrictive file size limits to build richer ad experiences.