Just as everyone has recovered from the annual migration to Las Vegas for CES, it’s time for the next big industry event in Barcelona, for Mobile World Congress. MWC13 this year is also about a brand new venue – Fira Europe, just outside town. Looking at the launches and updates from the first day (and the first couple of days of pre-show releases) from a wider perspective, there’s a lot to be enthused about – but also a very clear line being drawn. Mobile handsets and networks are excellent, but their functionality continues to suffer once the form factor of the device is exceeded. Getting a little bit of stuff done on the move with a mobile or tablet is fantastic; doing much more than the minimum necessary, however, remains painful, no matter how much processing speed or bandwidth you throw at it – the limiting factor is still the screen.
Which is why we’ve brought Project Ophelia with us, fresh from its stint in ‘Vegas. While only the size of a large USB stick, Project Ophelia turns a display or TV into an access device for corporate and personal content. We see uses in space-constrained environments like retail or as a home worker solution; for digital signage; and for very cost-conscious applications and markets.
Dell's PocketCloud family of products are the perfect companion for Project Ophelia. PocketCloud brings Remote Desktop access to mobile devices, and lets you search access and share your data in your 'personal cloud' of PC, Mac, virtual desktop and mobile devices.
Now, it wouldn’t be MWC without a few market-changing claims, and there are a few that are likely to affect Dell and Dell PartnerDirect Partners significantly. Two that I want to pick out are Near Field Communications (NFC) and mobile payments. These two areas will have a big impact on commerce over the next decade or so – and they’ve been building steadily for almost as long.
NFC allows instant, higher bandwidth communications between devices as easily as touching the two together. The immediate impact of NFC is in retail, of course, but there are huge opportunities in other sectors, too. NFC is already being used on advertising in trains; touch your handset to the NFC target, and get a link, discount or update. But NFC could also be used to grant WiFi access in offices – or used to update workers’ devices as they clock in for a new shift.
Secondly, mobile payments; Mastercard has launched MasterPass, and the really interesting thing about it for us is that it’s not just mobile payments. MasterPass looks to unify *all* payments – so the user and the merchant have the same experience, whether it’s using a mobile phone to transfer money to a friend or merchant, buying over the counter, or online. Again, the key is to think about how this could be used outside the usual retail environments we’re used to.
However, the theme of this years’ conference is more than mobile, and Dell has contributed to this with PocketCloud, bridging the gap between mobile, portable and desktop. Getting it all to work together is the next task – and one which Dell PartnerDirect Partners are excellently placed to help, grow and profit from with their customers