Space & Innovation

Tasty Tech Eye Candy: Mobile World Congress 2016

Virtual reality, 360-degree cameras, batteries and other gizmos were all vying for attention. Here we take a look at ten that stood out.

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Each February, gadget vendors and customers gather in Barcelona, Spain, for the Mobile World Congress. The show, which has traditionally focused on innovations in mobile phones and networks, has been recently infiltrated by technology that springboards from smartphones. Virtual reality, 360-degree cameras, batteries and other gizmos were all vying for attention. Here we take a look at ten that stood out. Above: Samsung had a pop-up virtual reality theater that gave people a chance to experience a virtual reality roller coaster ride. The company also unveiled its Gear 360, a camera that captures video and stills from all around and then stitches them together for an immersive experience. Oh and anyone who wanted to pre-order one of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones got a free Gear VR headset.

HTC unveiled its Vive Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas last month, and folks were impressed with the device's front-facing camera which gives wearers a view into the real world. At the MWC,

reviews were still high

, in particular for its crisp images and handy controllers. The consumer version of the Vive is expected to sell for $799 and begin shipping in April.

Whereas Samsung's Galaxy 360 camera is meant for everyday consumer electronic lovers, Nokia's Ozo shown here is for the professional. The camera retails for $60,000 and is aimed at moviemakers who want to adapt the format for virtual reality.

LG showed off its G5 smartphone a couple of days before the congress. Some new features set it apart from its competitors. It has an always-on screen, so that users won't have to push a button or tap a screen to see the time. A slide-out battery makes it easy to swap out an old one for a new one. It also comes with a couple of add-ons, including a module that turns the phone into a hi-fi speaker and a VR camera that makes it possible to shoot 360-degree videos and images.

Batteries may be boring, but they're necessary. Oppo showed of a fast-charger compatible with most phones, that will take a battery from 0 percent to 100 in just 15 minutes.

Epson's new Moverio BT-300 is an improvement on its Moverio BT, which offered an LCD-based display. The new 300 has glasses with custom silicon OLED lenses that provide an overlay of information in better resolution, contrast and brightness.

Fujitsu also showed off some augmented reality tech, which is aimed at power plants, factories and warehouses workers.

This handy little puck turns any free Wi-Fi available at cafes, bars and airports safer by encrypting it.

Google has a technology called Project Tango that uses the camera and other sensors on Android devices to create indoor, spatial maps.

GuidiGo

is the first app developed from Project Tango and people can use it to get a 3-D tour of specific museums and works of art.

Sony's new Xperia Ear uses NFC or Bluetooth to communicate with a smartphone and respond to verbal commands. You can ask it to make a call, search the Internet, help you navigate as well as provide information about your schedule, the weather and news.