We’re just a week away from Mobile World Congress and while it’s a show largely dedicated to new seeing new smartphones from LG, Huawei and company, we’re also hoping to see some shiny new wearables to play with as well.
It’s not all about smartwatches and fitness trackers either. Don’t forget about VR, hearables and smart home tech as well.
Read this: 50 wearable tech gamechangers for 2017
MWC kicks off on Sunday 26 February in Barcelona and team Wareable will be there reporting on what goes down at the show. Here’s the announcements and the launches we’re expecting from the show.
Huawei Watch 2 and VR headset
MWC 2017 conference times
LG MWC 2017
LG’s MWC presser takes place at 12 noon CET/11am GMT/3am PST on Sunday 26 February.
Sony MWC 2017
Sony’s MWC conference is at 8.30am CET/7.30am GMT on Monday 27 February/11.30pm on Sunday 26 February.
Samsung MWC 2017
Samsung’s conference is at 7pm CET/6pm GMT/10am PST on Sunday 26 February. The invite looks like a phone or tablet but be patient for the end of the event.
Here’s one we definitely know is coming because the company’s CEO Richard Yu confirmed that we will see the Huawei Watch 2 at MWC. The second generation smartwatch is set to pack Android Wear 2.0 and we already have this teaser image that suggests there’s going to be a more sportier affair than the original Huawei Watch.
Serial leakster Evan Blass claimed that the Watch 2 will feature a 42mm case, a 1.4-inch display and leather and stainless steel straps. It’s also expected to come in a cellular model as well with a built-in SIM card.
With announcements set for the 26 February, we also expecting to see the Huawei VR headset — yes, the one recently announced by Google.
ZTE Quartz Android smartwatch inbound
Yes, ZTE is going to join the Wear 2.0 party with its first smartwatch running Google’s smartwatch OS tipped to land at MWC.
The Chinese company already confirmed it was working on its first wearable device at CES last month and Evan Blass (yes, him again) over at VentureBeat has got hold of an image from leaked marketing material, which is said to be of the upcoming ZTE Quartz smartwatch.
We don’t have much in the way of specs, but the folks at The Android Soul did spot a device that could be the Wear watch in question suggesting that it’ll support 3G connectivity. With Android Wear 2.0 making a greater push on turning smartwatches into standalone devices, that’s probably not all that surprising.
Make us dream, Sony
Sony has already confirmed Android Wear 2.0 isn’t coming to the Sony SmartWatch 3, so does that mean it’s going to have a new watch for us to try out at MWC? We certainly hope so.
It’s been a long time since the company last announced a smartwatch, and the possibility of a Sony SmartWatch 4 ever seeing the light of day is looking increasingly unlikely. But with Android Wear 2.0 launching prior to the show, let’s hope a sneak announcement for later in the year is on the cards.
We do know Sony has a fairly stacked smartphone lineup during its 27 February conference, but trying to pin down what Sony will do with regard to wearables is less unclear.
Samsung going Pro
It could be all quiet on the Samsung front as officially announcing it’s not going to launch its next flagship Galaxy smartphone in Barcelona. Since we were only just treated to the Gear S3, another smartwatch iteration is also highly unlikely.
What we could see, though, is a fresh fitness tracker. The Gear Fit Pro moniker has recently been trademarked by the company, so make sure to stay tuned and continue dreaming big.
Virtual reality and smart home are also sure to get a mention from Samsung and it’s looking increasingly likely that we’ll find out more about Bixby, the company’s virtual assistant response to Amazon’s Alexa.
Samsung’s C-Labs brings the crazy
Thanks to a pre-show announcement, we know that Samsung’s C-Labs startups will be out in force on the showfloor.
We’ll be checking out the Monitorless AR glasses which stream apps, videos and games from your phone or PC over Wi-Fi as well as three new Gear VR apps all in development. The VR experiments include an app to help partially sighted people view games and films more easily; a home furnishing app and a virtual tourism app.
HTC ramps up the Vive software goodies
The Vive, our current VR headset fave will be in the MWC building. Back in January, we found out about the new Vive Tracker and TPCast add-on to get that Vive wireless experience, and we’re expecting to hear more on the software front. That includes Viveport Arcade related announcements as the company tries to increase the Vive appeal outside of the gaming realms.
It’s all silent on the Fitbit front (for now)
With a quiet CES last month coinciding with CEO James Park’s admitting that the company is working towards a fully fledged Fitbit smartwatch, it’s hard to decide whether to expect anything too big from Fitbit at MWC.
Still, the upcoming app store could get a tease, it could focus on the designer accessories we’re still waiting for or we might see fresh trackers with fresh tech inside.
Language translating smart earbuds
We said hearables were going to be a big deal in 2017 and we could see our first major development in the shape of wireless earbuds that can translate multiple languages in real-time. Waverly Labs, who raised $3 million through crowdfunding for its Pilot hearable will be showing off the device at MWC. UK startup MyManu is also launching its Clik buds that work in a similar way to Pilot and are ready to smarten up your conversations as well.
Withings x Nokia
Withings has teased Nokia’s MWC conference on 26 February with a tweet saying the digital health startup will be joining Nokia (which now owns it). Now that doesn’t mean we’ll see new Withings/Nokia wearables but we’ll be keeping an eye on proceedings anyway.
Acer wearable incoming
We just got word that Acer is bringing a wearable to MWC, alongside some smartphones. Emmanuael Fromont, president of EMEA for Acer, let slip that we’ll see a wearable though we don’t have any more details yet. Acer has experimented with fitness bands and a bizarre watch accessory with Victorinox over the years but none have really caught on.
We’re as intrigued as ever plus we might also see Acer’s Windows 10 VR headset or hear more about its plans with StarVR and IMAX.
What are you looking forward to from MWC? What do you want to see? Let us know in the comments.
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