Specialists on consumer insights and design trends.

Highlights from GSMA Shanghai: Virtual reality, Graphene and Connected vehicles

The GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai took place from 29th June to July 1st 2016 in at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in China. Brands, suppliers, researchers and start-ups exhibited the latest technology innovations in four big halls while numerous conferences took place in hotels around. Style-Vision Asia visited the trade show and attended several confrences. Please find below some highlights.

The future of gaming
VR technology seems now ready for a massive distribution. Big players such as Samsung or HTC as well as smaller firms showcased their maturing knowhow in that field. You could see everywhere Chinese youngsters equipped with headsets moving around and fighting against invisible figures. VR seems great fun when you are immerses in it but from an external point of view, it lacks a bit of excitement. Gaming is of course the domineering application of VR technology for the moment. Other usages are still being explored. The startup Senso developed a glove that provides haptic feedback such as feeling of cold or warmth while interacting with virtual and augmented reality with hands.

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The future of material
In simple terms, graphene, is a thin layer of pure carbon atoms that are bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb mesh. Isolated by two researchers at The University of Manchester, Prof Andre Geim and Prof Kostya Novoselov in 2004 from a basic graphite pencil, it ultra-light yet 200 times stronger than steel, flexible, possibly transparent, and a superb conductor. A few applications, at the stage of prototypes were presented by different international science institutes. Fast charger, flexible and invisible sensors these are some of the applications that one can imagine especially in the automotive and mobility devices industry.

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The future of cars
In 2016, Volkswagen introduced its new concept of connected car “Budd-e”, for the first time at CES and not Geneva or Frankfurt auto show. This fact reveals that the car industry is now becoming conscious of the massive impact of digitalization on their business. Not only the connectivity of the vehicle is becoming critical– as Mr Ma, Tencent’s executive puts it “a car is a computer with transportation function” – but the business model of the industry is hacked by new trading forms (sharing), new players (Baidu or Testla) and of course new consumer attitudes. According to Julius Machwicki, from SmartdeviceLink, an application platform supported by Ford, more and more youngsters prefer to seat on the back seats of an Uber or Didi cabs and check their smartphones rather that drive the care. All leading car manufacturers are multiplying initiatives to develop mobility services – car2go (Daimler) – and embrace the change. After the sustainability challenge, it is now the digital challenge that hits them and triggers mixed feelings of enthusiasm and anxiety because this time, they are perhaps not defining the rules of the game.

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For more information, pls contact:

Genevieve Flaven, Managing partner of Style-Vision Asia
gf@style-vision.com, + 86 13564032372
Sources:
http://www.senso.me
https://www.car2go.com
http://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/

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