Mobile World Congress: How the ‘first’ big in-person tech event goes contactless

If you turn the clock back two years, the world was a very different place in almost every aspect. People were mindless about travelling, eating out, meeting others was business as usual. However, the coronavirus hit and the world as we knew it has never been the same. For tech companies, in-person media events were a big deal about making a splash, showcasing new products and technologies. It’s not that Covid-19 stifled innovation or stalled product launches, but took away the ‘sheen’, the buzz that personally generated events evaporated into thin air.
cut for today and Mobile World Congress Running in Barcelona. This is the ‘first’ major event where tech companies have made their presence felt. The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 22 was also an in-person event for the first time, technically, but a lot of bigwigs backed out as the Omicron version of the coronavirus began to take hold of the world. not here mwc Although it seems like a return to normalcy. Take a look at some of the names that stand out. Samsung, Microsoft, Oppo, Qualcomm, OnePlus, Google – almost every big name is putting on a show for the world.

Welcome to a ‘contactless’ world

The incident is in Barcelona, ​​Spain where the COVID-19 guidelines have been somewhat relaxed. As long as you are vaccinated and depending on where you are from the negative RT-PCR report, this is enough for you to enter the country. Enter the country and you must have a health declaration form – along with a vaccination certificate – uploaded to the government health portal. A QR code is saved on your smartphone and all you have to do is scan the QR code and within a few seconds you will receive an email from the government welcoming you to the country and some guidelines need to be followed – God forbid – you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 during the period of your stay.
At the Mobile World Congress venue, from entry to exit, it’s all about QR codes and facial recognition technology. Masks are mandatory inside the venue and you cannot take them off except through facial recognition. To enter inside the venue, you will need to show the QR code of the Venue Access Badge and entrants and volunteers will stand at a safe distance to scan your smartphone. Once inside, a facial recognition scanner works to allow you to go inside the space where people are buzzing around the various booths, all of which offer new technology. Even at food stalls – in both indoor and outdoor settings – people queue to grab a bite or a drink quickly and make payments as contactless as possible. While it has all become a part of life, it is still an isolating experience to watch it at an individual event where thousands of people are expected to attend over the next few days.

And the people have increased in number. It is as if the shackles have been broken but there is no sense of abandonment as you can see that people are carefully sanitizing their hands, not taking off their masks and trying to maintain social distance as much as possible. are. It is pointless to expect to go back to normal life as we knew it before 2020, but at the same time, it is encouraging to see the world open up, accept the challenges that come with it, and get back to business as usual. In 1987, the popular band came out with an album called REM Documents.
Being at a personal event after a two-year hiatus, the guys went about their business with caution – and yet with an air of confidence – one could not help but think about a song from the document album. could. The song’s title is enough to explain what it means: “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

(The author is in Barcelona, ​​Spain to attend the Mobile World Congress at the invitation of Oppo India)

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