As expected, the annual Mobile World Congress has delivered an army of new Android devices. Really, though, we'd expect nothing less from the world's largest gathering of mobile-minded products and services. And with Android playing a dominant role in the smartphone landscape, it stands to reason that a majority of new phones and tablets would launch with the Google platform.
Imagine waking up, reaching for the tablet on your nightstand, and turning on your coffee maker from bed. You catch a few more winks before it alerts you that your hot java's ready. If Qualcomm's concept Wi-Fi coffee maker ever goes into production, your mornings may never be quite the same.
BARCELONA, Spain--Gone is the giant Android figures, the twisty slide, colorful pins, and free ice cream sandwiches. Gone is the massive, head-turning booth that clearly established Google as a major player at Mobile World Congress.
In its place is a small meeting room with a blank glass placard on the outside. A white curtain provides privacy for the briefings inside.
Google has largely run under the radar, taking a few meetings with the press, vendors, and other partners at the show. But the company isn't listed as an exhibitor, and its name and meeting room doesn't appear on … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Move over, Android face unlock -- a new security app promises to protect your smartphone by scanning the veins in your eye.
Dubbed Eyeprint, the in-development app from EyeVerify first takes a picture of the veins in the corner of your eye, which are unique to you. Once your eyes have been scanned, processed, and saved, anyone with eye veins that don't match your own will be unable to access your protected documents or data.
The app requires a front-facing camera with a resolution of at least 2 megapixels to get a clear image of your eye. If … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Here's the good news: the U.S. wireless industry is working to ensure that you'll eventually be able to take your LTE-enabled phone from one carrier to another and get the same experience.
The bad news: it likely won't happen for a few years.
That's according to T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray, who spoke to CNET in an interview at Mobile World Congress. Ray says the industry is keen on phones that can operate on different carriers, but that there remain a lot of complexities.
The advent of 4G LTE technology was supposed to … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--One of the more jaw-dropping tech demos on view at this year's Mobile World Congress, new touch-screen technology from chipmaker STMicroelectronics lets you control your smartphone or tablet without actually touching the display.
Using it, you can swipe, drag, and prod at your touch-screen device, replacing the fear of fingerprints with the feeling of controlling a spaceship's navigation system.
There's nothing special about the touch screen itself, but rather about the controller chip that manages the panel. Rather than monitoring contact with the screen, the chip observes the electrical field that the tablet's touch screen … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--LG is showing off a new system that transforms your smartphone into a 4K media hub.
The South Korean company is calling the new platform the "world's first wireless Ultra HD transmission technology." If you've got a game or video playing on your mobile in HD, the new platform will upscale the feed to a 4K resolution, before beaming it out wirelessly to another device.
In this situation that second device was an LG 4K television, acting as a simple monitor for the 4K feed that the phone was pumping out.
BARCELONA, Spain--The second half of this year will see phones in the shops that can work on 4G LTE networks in both Europe and the U.S., according to Roberto Di Pietro, a VP at Qualcomm in Europe.
That has the potential to solve a major problem with today's 4G phones -- although you can normally get a data connection in another country when you travel, it's 3G rather than 4G, as the phones bought in one country usually aren't compatible with the 4G frequencies used in the country you're traveling to.
Speaking to me at … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Google considers its own Motorola Mobility unit the same as HTC or Samsung Electronics when it comes to their relationship.
"It's almost as if they are a separate company," said Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, adding that there is a wall between the Nexus business and Motorola.
Still, in answering a question about whether Motorola would ever participate in the Nexus program again, Lockheimer wasn't particularly clear. While there is a firewall between the two businesses, the equal treatment of Motorola and Samsung suggests there is the possibility of collaboration … Read more