The State of Mobile Tech in 2016



Meaning

The 2016 Mobile World Congress just completed its 29th year. The largest show focusing on mobile technology, MWC used to be all about cell phones and related technologies. In fact, the show began life as “GSM World Congress” after its founding body, the GSM Association, traditionally made up of cellular carriers worldwide.

But what does mobile actually mean? This year’s MWC featured virtual reality gear, IoT products, including home automation products, gaming, and a host of other technologies. The definition of mobile has become pretty diluted, much like “consumer electronics” and “personal computer”.

Eric and I discuss how MWC has become a catch-all show, like CES and Computex. We also talk about some of the nifty stuff coming out of this year’s MWC, including Sony’s Echo killer, HTC’s Vive VR headset, and HP jumping into the high end phone business. Again.

So is mobile the source of innovation in tech today, or has it become just another example of commoditization on technology road?

Tools

On the tools side, warmer weather in Silicon Valley has Eric riding his bicycle more frequently when commuting. His brakes are starting to get a little old, so we discuss evolving brake technology, and the rapid evolution of bike tech in the past decade. Eric’s also looking for a new bike light, due to low light conditions during his morning ride. Loyd mentions XFire, a blinking rear light which includes a pair of low-power lasers painting virtual lanes on the road, giving drivers additional cues about the cyclist. At $40, XFire is practically a steal.

I discuss the evolution of bicycle disc brakes, and why your next bike should have disk brakes.

Oh, and Eric loves his new TP-Link TL-PA8010P KIT HomePlug AV2 MIMO AV1200 Gigabit. What is that, you say? Why, it’s a powerline networking kit. While the product name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the actual kit works like a champ.

Fun

Eric’s been reading and viewing more than playing games. He decides Jessica Jones is pretty good after all. He also isn’t sure whether it might destroy his geek cred to like Jurassic World… but he does, anyway. And he’s finally diving into Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves.

I wrap  up a run through XCOM 2 and believe XOM 2 could be game-of-the-year material here, if Firaxis can fix some bugs and performance issues. The game has also spawned a highly active mod community. I’m now starting a new run, in commander mode, but I’m not trying ironman until those bugs are zapped.

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