MWC 2024: A wild Journey to the Future in Hall 6

The future and all that is possible was on full display this week at MWC Barcelona 2024 in Hall Six of Gran Via, the site of an innovation zone that featured hands-on and immersive demos of things ranging from devices that enhance the growing of fruit to what has been described as the “world’s first flying car.”

Called Journey to the Future, the venue was described by show organizer GSMA as the place “where we pay homage to technology’s transformational impact on tomorrow’s industries, communities and citizens.” It focused on five key areas:

Sustainability:  On display was Agerpix’s precision agriculture quad, which uses computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and data mining advances to gather and generate global data on fruit production. According to a release, “integrated with intelligent sensors capable of detecting the amount of fruit on a tree with a 95 per cent accuracy rate, the quad is helping to achieve smarter and more sustainable harvests in the fresh fruit industry.”

Hovering Solutions demonstrated its autonomous flying drones, which it said are being used to create 3D models of GPS-denied infrastructure, leading to safer, faster and more accurate maintenance of difficult-to-reach areas. “Mapping cities’ most underground inaccessible areas in a safe and efficient way, our robots are able to fly fully autonomously from one location to another through sewage tunnels, providing geolocated data of the interior of the infrastructure, such as panoramic high-resolution images and georeferenced 3D point clouds,” the company says.

“Our patented technology enables navigation in complex environments with no light, no pilot or any communication, generating georeferenced point-clouds and high resolution geolocated images.”

Health: The “Next Healthcare” space hosted exhibitors that the GSMA said are “revolutionizing the way medical practitioners diagnose and treat patients, as well as those disrupting the health tech space with new and emerging technologies.”

Among them, was ISDIN, which showcased its latest UV camera offering, which provided a “real-time demonstration of the protective barrier sunscreen creates against UV light – paving the way for more effective detection of skin diseases.”

Attendees were also able to discover Cortical Labs’ biological intelligence offerings. The company says it “harnesses the energy and information sampling efficiency of biological intelligence for computing devices. We do this by growing stem-cell derived neurons into silicon chips and program them to perform intelligence tasks in a simulation that they are embedded in.”

Artificial Intelligence: The zone’s dedicated AI track included an exhibition from the Catalonian Police Force, the Mossos d’Esquadra.

The Mossos, a release stated, uses AI-enabled offerings to “support operations in a number of areas, and its stand will spotlight some of the technology’s many applications in law enforcement – featuring a fixed-wing drone integrated with AI systems that enable automated data capture, allowing the service to detect, classify and track moving targets.”

Mobility: Prior to the conference, the GSMA in a release said, “pop culture has led many of us to picture hoverboards and flying cars when we think of the future and, as part of its attendance at Journey to the Future, Alef Aeronautics will bring part of this vision to life – hosting the first real flying car at its booth for all visitors to see.

“The Model A is a two-seat, all-electric vehicle designed to both drive on the street and take off vertically when needed and fly above traffic – with a flight range of 110 miles. The vehicle uses proprietary technology that elevates the vehicle without the need for runways thanks to eight propellers housed within its body, providing attendees with a glimpse into the faster and easier commutes of the future.”

Retail: This track featured a self-driving Coffee Vehicle from Rhea. According to a fact sheet, “powered by renewable energy sources, the barista vehicle allows users to order their coffee through an app which will then be delivered by the unmanned vehicle – transforming the traditional go-to-shop model and giving an insight into the industry’s convenience-led and sustainable future. “

The four-day conference, which concluded today, drew an estimated 93,000 delegates.

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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