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Home / Features / MWC 2016: The weird and the wonderful

MWC 2016: The weird and the wonderful

It's not all phones and tablets at MWC - we dug up the more obscure announcements

Mobile World Congress doesn’t begin and end with big-name launches such as the Galaxy S7, G5 and Xperia X – there are thousands of companies hidden away across eight massive halls.

It’s not all phones and tablets, either. From wrap-around LCD screens to rolling robots, there’s guaranteed to be something just that little bit different if you go hunting for it.

That’s exactly what we did on the last day of the show, before a mad dash to the airport for our flight back to the UK. You can see how we got on in the video below.

Expect plenty of prototypes and proof of concept tech. Only interested in the phones you’ll actually be able to buy this year? Make sure to check out our MWC news hub.


No, it’s not the most ridiculous wearable ever; this prototype display from UK company FlexEnable is what you can expect from smartwatches in a couple of years – in a much smaller size, obviously.

It doesn’t use OLED panels, either; these are LCDs, printed onto transparent sheets barely any thicker than cellophane.

The tech is there for anyone to license, so it’s just a matter of time before these panels start appearing in things you’ll actually be able to buy.



That’s one way to check your bank balance.

MasterCard’s upcoming biometric app update will let you use your face to approve transactions or check your purchase history.

You’ve got to blink, so crooks won’t be able to steal your phone and transfer all your money with a mugshot, and there’s no clue if duck face is mandatory.

You’ll still be able to use a fingerprint if your phone has the right sensor, though, so gurning isn’t always required. It should be dropping later this year.


A mind-controlled RC car over at Acer’s booth was too good to pass up, but it’s not easy when you’ve had about nine coffees just to get you through the morning (after writing until 2am the night before).

The idea is that your brain becomes the ignition switch, and will only let you drive when you’re completely focused. Until you do, the power stays off.

I was so wired that was never going to happen, but Acer’s demonstrators had clearly got more practice at clearing their mind.

It’s a prototype right now, so you won’t be strapping on a mind-control headset and going for a drive just yet.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

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