48 Hours In Barcelona: Mobile World Congress 2015 So Far

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We’re nearly two days into Barcelona, and as expected, so far Mobile World Congress has left us inspired, inquisitive and still asking “how did they do that?”

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While the sheer amount of technology is electrifying on the expo floor, it’s the stories behind each of those products that we’re taking home. A few surprising standouts so far:

Personalization has its limits.

I have to admit, it’s a bit surprising, yet quite refreshing, to hear personalization talked about so intimately across the board here at MWC. While we’ve heard unanimously in recent years about the push to create more personal, hyper relevant experiences, balancing data with the pushback of going too far is intriguing. As one panelist put it – you can still create an experience without telling me about it.

Hyper-connected doesn’t have to mean “connect all of the things”

Products stand a purpose, and so do the actions we natively take with them. Keeping in mind the context around a user’s behavior allows us to better map the journey. Sometimes this will mean partnering objects, apps or devices, while at other times, it may be best to keep them separate. An excellent example of this is LinkedIn’s diverse app strategy. With a series of apps that each serve a clear and distinct purpose, LinkedIn has built tools that serve the customer when they need them. Will they use every app, everyday? No. And that’s OK.

Let’s move past “because it’s cool”

There is no shortage of cool technology here at MWC and believe me, we’re loving it. The expo floor is inspiring and it sets an incredible foundation for the future. However, as specific markets begin to expand, asking questions is key. Pebble is taking a fresh look at the context they can add around a person’s life without forcing them to break their habits with the launch of Pebble Time Steel. Swarovski is launching a new line in partnership with Misfit and putting fashion at its core, giving balance to fashion and function. Both examples of a market we’ve watched explode in wearables and are now seeing mature in exciting ways.