The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest conference and exhibition for the mobile industry, was held in Barcelona from the 2nd to the 5th of March. This being the tenth year it was held in Barcelona. My team and I attended the conference to explore and better understand the latest technology developments and trends. We were also looking to understand how some of these technologies could be deployed by our young entrepreneurs at the Cortex Hub.
There were a vast array of exciting new technologies and gadgets on display and demonstrated at MWC, some of which I will be showcase and in this piece; I will discuss some of the innovation that caught our eye.
One of the overarching themes that dominated MWC was network function virtualisation (NFV). This is a network architecture concept that proposes the use of technologies that virtualise the entire classes of network node functions into building blocks. These building blocks in turn, may be connected to create communication services.
There are 3 components of the NFV framework:
Virtualized Technology Functions: These are software implementations of network functions that can be used on the network virtualization infrastructure.
The NFV Infrastructure: This refers to the totality of both hardware and software components, which make up the environment in which NFVs are deployed.
Lastly, NFV Infrastructure: This is able to span across many locations and it is the network providing connections between these locations.
Cloudera is a big data software development and training company. It presents solutions to the gap that currently exists between the system integrators and customers. The Customer Relations Management (CRM) system operates on outdated methods of searching for data. We now live in a big data environment so it has become essential to build capability and a knowledge base on this environment in order to move forward.
The development of CRM requires an understanding on the utilisation of the HADOOP platform when viewing data. So why would one ever want to move MYSQL/SQL data onto HADOOP? One good reason is archival and analytics. Instead of deleting old data, one can move it onto HADOOP making it available for further analysis at a later stage through Squoop. Of course the reasons are not limited to this.
Some new HADOOP products worth considering include: Datameer, Platfora, Tri-Factor and Zoom Data.
Organizations can now store large data sets on HADOOP’s file systems and use real time analytics software built on architecture like Spark to access data directly off HDFS, bypassing any migration headaches.
A mobile innovation that was also widely spoken of at this year’s Mobile World Congress was the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset. It has incorporated features from its Qualcomm Zeroth platform that will enable mobile devices to collect and analyze voice, video and images captured by users on their mobile devices. All the data will be stored and processed locally on chip rather than in the cloud. By powering the device with such cognitive computing capabilities, Qualcomm hopes to provide a more personal user experience as compared to the existing range of mobile devices.
Beyond mobile devices, the Snapdragon 820 chip can be embedded into robots, cars, drones and other products that would need to maneuver around without human assistance. This technology is clearly in the forefront of mobile innovation and one that the Hub would like to learn from.
Mirror Link is an interoperability platform that allows users to have total access to their smartphones completely hands free while driving. It does so by enabling users to connect their phones to their car and gain instant access to their mobile applications via the car’s navigation screen, steering wheel controls or dashboard buttons; offering seamless connectivity between their mobile devices and their car’s information and entertainment systems. It utilizes a set of well-established, non-proprietary technologies and proves to be a product worth exploring at the Cortex Hub.
We believe the Minnowboard is another product that will prove to be an asset to our entrepreneurs at the Cortex Hub. The Minnowboard is an open hardware embedded platform. It is a completely open source meaning the firmware is completely visible. It runs on a 1, 91 GHz Atom E3845 processor.
Some of the benefits of this product include the fact that its open hardware structure allows for limitless customization and integration. This in turn allows developers, like our Cortex Hub entrepreneurs, to be innovative in an embedded market. Some of the features that characterize the Minnow Board include;
Intel Atom CPU dual core 1.33 GHz with hyper-threading and virtualization technology.
Integrated Intel HD Graphics with Open Source hardware-accelerated drivers for Linux OS.
2GB DDR3 RAM.
8 MB SPI Flash.
In terms of connectivity, the Minnow Board is able to deliver the following:
USB client for power & communications
USB 3.0 & 2.0 host
HDMI® (microHDMI connector)
Low speed expansion port details (2×13 26-pin male 0.1″ pin header):
o SPI, I2C, I2S Audio, 2x UARTs (TTL-level), 8x GPIO (2x supporting PWM),
High speed expansion port details (60-pin high-density connector):
o 1x PCIe Gen 2.0 Lane, 1x SATA2 3 Gb/sec, 1x USB 2.0 host, I2C, GPIO,
JTAG, +5V, GND
Intel has really raised the bar with this product and we are looking forward to incorporating it into the operations of the Cortex Hub.
In conclusion, the mobile industry is one that is fast paced and very dynamic. Technology that was leading within the industry years ago, is quickly out performed by innovative technologies that surface in the years that followed, making it vital that one remains up to date about the latest technologies. MWC15 proved to be both informative and inspiring; a great learning experience for both my team and I.