Cutting edge

From phone-charging furniture to “invisibility glasses”, we round up the coolest gadgets unveiled at the Mobile World Congress​

The recently concluded World Mobile Congress (WMC), held in Barcelona, brought together some of the biggest names in the tech world under one roof. Several smartphones, tablets and martwatches were unveiled, even as prototypes for future gizmos were put on show. Here's a quick lowdown of the ones that caught our attention, and may soon be available at a store near you.


It may resemble a pocket watch, but this circular device by Monohm has most smartphone capabilities. Running on Mozilla's Firefox OS platform, you can use it to make calls, ask for directions and browse the web. But, at the same time, it allows you to avoid the temptations of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

Samsung Pay
Launched to compete with Apple Pay, Samsung's mobile payment platform — present on Galaxy S6 models — has one major advantage. It can even work with merchants that use magnetic-strip cards instead of NFC technology. Though the security of the system is yet to be tested, it created a lot of buzz during the launch.

Qualcomm Sense ID
With security becoming as important as it has in recent years, fingerprint ID systems are in vogue. Sense ID is interesting because it recognises fingerprints even on dirty or greasy hands. Also, the sensor scans fingerprints in 3D and with much more detail, making it more secure, according to Qualcomm.

HTC Re Vive

Expected to hit stores just in time for the US holiday season, the headset — developed in partnership with Valve — was quite a hit at the WMC. The device comes with two IR trackers and reportedly over 70 built-in sensors that allow users to roam freely around virtual worlds. It also pairs with wireless controllers for interacting with virtual objects.

Pebble Time Steel

The high-end smartwatch is a more professional version of earlier editions launched by Pebble. But what's interesting is that the company also launched a Smart Straps programme to let developers make creative straps for it. The plan is to allow users to swap the current strap for one that comes with built-in GPS or monitors pollution levels or even one that calculates heart rate.

AVG Invisibility Glasses

Tired of being tagged by friends in photos on social media websites that you would not want the world to see? Try these glasses. According to the makers, the device uses infrared light to break facial recognition technology.

Ikea phone charging furniture

Collaborating with Samsung, Ikea launched wireless lamps, desks and chairs with embedded charging pads. Place your wireless charging phone on any of them, and juice up your device with ease.

Grand 3 smartphone

Launched by Chinese phone maker ZTE, it comes with retina scanning technology. Built in to the front-facing camera, currently it's only for unlocking your phone. However, the makers plan to integrate the feature with apps in the future.

Project Ara
Smartphone-maker Yezz showed off a prototype of Google's Project Ara modular phone. The device can fit up to 11 components onto its frame. Yezz is currently developing two such devices. The end goal is to allow consumers to pick and choose how their phone looks and functions.

Sailfish OS

Jolla, a Finnish startup that shipped the first smartphone running on an alternative operating system at the end of 2013, unveiled its tablet at the WMC. The gestures-based operating system called Sailfish impressed many, and the device won the Best Tablet award.