Relax, Barcelona – Mobile World Congress 2014 is starting to wind down. It seems fitting that people have only really got round to talking about BlackBerry today as people start to physically and psychologically check out of the show, even though RIM launched its new phones yesterday. In a few short years, the BlackBerry has gone from the thinking person’s smartphone manufacturer to an irrelevance.
The company’s sub $200 Z3 aims to take on Android in the Southeast Asian market (good luck), while the new Q20 combines a 3.5-inch touchscreen with the good ol’ USP of a physical QWERTY keyboard. An honourable and probably futile return to RIM’s roots.
The world has moved on – to the extent that at this most enormous of trade shows, we’re more interested in checking out Oral-B’s new connected toothbrush than RIM. The Oral-B SmartSeries 7000 toothbrush connects to the Oral Blue iPhone app using Bluetooth 4.0. The app can then give you real-time guidance on brushing habits and the Bluetooth connection works both ways – so it can even program the toothbrush to brush just how your dentist likes it!
For brands, this “teching up” of the basics of daily life is an eye opener. How long before your app knows how much toothpaste you have left, and lets toothpaste brands vie for your custom via ads and incentives? And where else in the home will we see apps and devices link up?
Of course, the wave of wearables and fitness watches is part of this – health and fitness seems to be the way the industry plans to win the public over in terms of embracing the Internet of Things.
Speaking of embracing wearables – we spoke to one journalist who had been trying out a fitness watch at MWC, and he glumly reported that he had walked more than five miles in little over a morning, working the show floor. Our tapas and sangria will be well deserved today, fellow MWC folk.
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