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Pokemon Go maps and wearables for seals: the varied world of Mobile World Congress

Pokemon Go maps and wearables for seals: the varied world of Mobile World Congress

The doors of Mobile World Congress 2017 are officially open and thousands have streamed in to get a closer look at Samsung's new tablets, a handful of concept cars and of course, Nokia's reborn 3310.

But with several hundred companies on the show floor with products, concepts and new ideas to promote there was plenty to see and experience besides the obvious headline-grabbers.

These are some of the most eye-catching things we saw on our first trip around the show floor.

Pokemon Go is still a thing

Even amidst all the rushing to get hands-on with the newest smartphones first, it seems some people can be persuaded to try and “catch em all” as they move around MWC.

Throughout the convention centre signs encouraged players to be on the lookout for Pokemon, as well as telling players where to head to find PokeStops and Gyms should they want to really get into it.

Who says Pokemon Go is dead?

Peugeot's stunning concept car

As well as smartphones and wearables, concept cars are becoming increasingly prominent at MWC, particularly as the internet of things becomes more accessible to them.

Without doubt the most eye-catching of these was Peugeot's Instinct concept car, and it's easy to see why from the images above.

According to Peugeot, the car is essentially a smart extension of the home of the future in that its able to gather data from other connected devices and respond in kind.

For example, based on information on your exercise or heart rate the car could recognise you need to relax when you climb in and adjust the ride and suspension accordingly. A very cool idea.

Innovation City

Mobile World Congress
(Martyn Landi/PA)

Tucked away from the main halls is Innovation City, an area of the show dedicated to cutting edge products either being used on a small or concept scale that have the potential to be huge if rolled out more widely.

It's sponsored by the GSMA – the organisers of MWC – and features some well-known names but some ideas we've never seen before.

Mobile World Congress
(Martyn Landi/PA)

For example Korea Telecom are showcasing a smart, connected Ski Jacket that housed a sensor broadcasting the wearer's location – ideal for finding someone lost on a mountain or buried in an avalanche.

Mobile World Congress
(Martyn Landi/PA)

There was also the sight of a connected seal thanks to engineers from St Andrew's University's Sea Mammal Research Unit, who are using internet of things-enabled sensors to track seals off the Orkney Islands in order to try and understand why their population in that particular region has drastically dropped in recent years.

Playing Snake

Mobile World Congress
(Martyn Landi/PA)

Of course there was little avoiding Nokia on the first day show, and the crowd of people around the phone section of the company's large booth was noticeably large all day.

It wasn't just taking pictures either, a quick glance to the person next to you showed most were checking the same thing – if they were still at all good at Snake.

VR still rules

It wouldn’t be a tech show without bucket loads of virtual reality use either, and while there were plenty of sightings of large rigs to make single players feel more immersed in what they were seeing another trend was also on show – social.

Something Mark Zuckerberg spoke passionately about at this very event in 2016, the idea that virtual reality will become a premier space in which to be social in the coming year.

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