01/03/2014 Click


01/03/2014

Gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news. Click visits the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to see the latest smart phone technology, plus more news and Webscape.


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Transcript


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Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese,

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cheese, cheese, cheese, Jews, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese,

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cheese, cheese, Manchego!

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Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.

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It is a beautiful, crisp spring morning.

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And, currently, thousands of people are streaming into the most

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important event on the calendar...

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if you like mobiles, because this is the Mobile World Congress,

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and it takes place here in Barcelona.

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It's a show to make you smile as we go mobile mad.

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As well as the big launches, we'll bring you the phone that

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sees in 3D, and the phone that can't be seen at all.

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We'll go underwater, and over the top.

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And, if that's not enough,

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there's the best of the web in Webscape, too.

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The Mobile World Congress grows every year.

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More than 70,000 visitors explore eight halls

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and nearly 100,000 square metres of exhibition space.

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Everyone has something mobile to show off.

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Phones, tablets, and, increasingly,

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the newest form of mobile tech, wearables.

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The oldest mobiles are here, too, though. Cars. Of course, these days,

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cars are learning to understand their environment, like this

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example from Ford, which is using lasers to scan

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nearly three million points every second and build up a 3D model

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of the road ahead.

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Just across the road from the Fira Gran Via convention centre,

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possibly the coolest piece of 3D modelling tech I've ever seen.

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This is one of only 200 prototype devices in the world that

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make use of Google's Project Tango.

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It's an Android phone with added 3D sensors.

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In a similar way to Xbox's Kinect it, the phone sends pulses

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of infrared light into the room,

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and then records how it's reflected back.

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The result is a depth map of the space that you're in.

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As you move about the room, the phone's position

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and orientation are constantly recorded,

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using a combination of the phone's gyroscope

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and complex image tracking,

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which works out how the image is moving about.

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Crucially, for navigating indoors, it doesn't need GPS,

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or any other wireless signal to work out where it is.

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The theories behind 3D mapping a room,

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a landscape, or an environment in this way aren't new.

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But they are incredibly processor intensive.

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And what is new is being able to do all that thinking

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in real-time inside a mobile phone.

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Now, that IS cool.

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Mobile technology that can understand its environment

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is one of the holy grails of computing.

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It opens the way for applications, such as modelling buildings,

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or navigation for robots which can get about the place

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without bumping into things.

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Handy for Google, a company which already has a fleet

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of self driving cars and at least

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seven robotics companies under its wing.

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Now, many of the big technology success stories have been

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built on gathering huge amounts of data about their surroundings,

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and, also, about us.

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With so much data being transmitted by our phones, one company,

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at least, is focusing on protecting our security.

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We've talked about the Blackphone on Click before,

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but this is where it launched.

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And Jen Copestake went to have a look.

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The revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden

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into the mass trawling of meta data have led many to question how

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secure their communications are.

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So, if you need to whisper in someone's ear

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from 1,000 miles away, we can help you with that.

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Making the timing of the launch of a security focused device ideal.

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And this is the Blackphone.

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From the outside, it looks just like any other smartphone.

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It's got a high-resolution display, a front and back camera.

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But what really sets it apart is what's running on the inside.

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It claims to offer encrypted text messaging and calls,

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but only where both sender and receiver are using the device

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or the Silent Phone app.

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It also allows you to control what information the phone transmits

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wirelessly as you walk around.

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A growing issue for privacy campaigners.

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What we can address successfully is the dragnet of information

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that we're seeing from the Snowden documents,

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the large-scale collection of traffic.

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It might collect the traffic,

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but they're not going to see the content.

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The phone will cost 629 US dollars.

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This includes a two-year subscription to the Silent Phone service,

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and a few invitations for others to use the software

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so you can have someone to talk to.

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It will be available on any GSM network.

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Silent Circle is run by a mix of cryptographers,

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and ex-Navy Seals, and Special Forces.

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So, perhaps no surprise who some of the first customers are.

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US Special Forces are using our products.

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As are the British Special Forces.

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My strategy from the beginning of the company has been to get

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government customers to create a kind of dependence

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on our technology.

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And, that way, it would reduce the chances that we would be...

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The government would try to pressure us into putting backdoors in,

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because it would create too much collateral damage to their own people.

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And, while this might be the most secure phone coming to market,

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Blackphone is keen to emphasise it is not completely NSA proof.

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Oh, heavens, no!

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If they really wanted to attack just YOUR phone,

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and they made it a priority, they would find a way in.

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A low-key launch, then, for a quiet phone.

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But not all the announcements were quite that subtle.

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STRING QUARTET PLAYS

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Probably the most anticipated was Samsung's behemoth

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of a hullabaloo, complete with orchestra,

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wannabe superstar execs, and, of course, new kit.

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First up was the new Galaxy S5 phone.

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Slightly larger than the S4 with better battery life,

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a 16 megapixel camera, and a fingerprint scanner,

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the S5 is also dust and water resistant, although not waterproof.

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As seems to be the fashion these days,

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the user interface now looks a bit cleaner and simpler, too.

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There's a big emphasis on health and fitness apps at the moment.

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The S5 comes with a whole raft of them.

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There's a pedometer, for example, to measure how far you've walked.

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There's a heart rate monitor which means if you hold your finger

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over this little red light at the back, it'll take your pulse for you.

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Possibly the most interesting feature

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was the ultra power saving mode

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which shuts down all non-essential parts of the phone,

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and turns the display black and white.

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Apparently, with just 10% of battery left,

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this will keep your phone alive for another 24 hours.

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Ironically, many of us at the press conference just now could have done with one of these.

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It is, after all, nearly 10pm,

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and most of our phones are on their last legs.

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This kit also made a bit of a splash. The Galaxy Gear Fit.

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It's a fitness wristband with a curved colour touchscreen

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and it's possibly this type of thing that will make wearable tech

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just that bit more fashionable.

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Now, the Samsung event isn't the only one happening here at the Mobile World Congress.

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Here's a round-up of the other big announcements from the show.

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg used his keynote speech to extol

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his vision of connecting the entirety of the world via the Internet.

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And, after Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for 19 billion,

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they're on the right track.

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Already boasting 450 million users,

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WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum also announced a free voice calling feature

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to debut in the app later this year.

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Facebook has quietly pulled the plug on its own e-mail service.

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A spokesperson for the social network admitted

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they're making the change

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because most people haven't been using their Facebook e-mail address.

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Ouch.

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And it's not all about Keynote.

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Offstage, start-up Seene debuted its iPhone app which creates

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simple, interactive 3D models using only the phone's built-in camera.

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Sony unveiled its latest batch of waterproof devices.

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The Xperia Z2 smartphone and its tablet cousin the...

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Z2. Inspired.

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Chinese manufacturer Huawei weighed in on the battle for our wrists

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with its Talkband B1.

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The hybrid device doubles up as a hands-free earpiece

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and also tracks your fitness.

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Huawei is already a big player in China

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but has its sights set on the bigger things overseas.

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Away from MWC, one of the world's largest Bitcoin trading sites,

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MtGox, has disappeared off-line after the suspected

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theft of millions of pounds of the digital currency.

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It's rumoured up to 750,000 coins worth

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a staggering £200 million have been stolen,

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and the theft potentially gone unnoticed for several years.

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Six other Bitcoin exchanges have since issued a joint

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statement saying this didn't affect the resilience or value of Bitcoin.

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And back at MWC, Mozilla,

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the company behind the Firefox operating system, has showed off

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a prototype super cheap smartphone which could sell for just £15.

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Designed for the developing world, the phone uses the Firefox OS,

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has a touchscreen, a 1GHz processor,

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and a two megapixel camera.

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Not blistering specs, admittedly,

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but what do you expect for the price?

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It's expected to launch later this year.

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And Firefox isn't the only smartphone outfit

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that's targeting the developing world.

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Here's LJ Rich with news from Nokia.

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Thanks, Spen.

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Yes, it's the company that used to dominate the handset industry.

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And now Nokia's aiming to claw back some market share with

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a range of affordable smartphones.

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The Nokia X and Nokia X+.

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There they are, ladies and gentlemen.

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While Nokia's always been open to Windows,

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it's raised a few eyebrows by partnering with Google's Android

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for its new low-priced Nokia X smartphone range.

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When you look at the functionality of these phones,

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it's surprising to think these come in at under 100 euros for this one

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and 109 euros for this.

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This is the Nokia XL.

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Making a low-power, low-cost phone like this is a great way to

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mop up all that revenue from the developing world,

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especially for people who are skipping desktops,

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skipping laptops, and going straight to mobile.

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And it may look like a Windows interface but, actually,

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it's running a highly tweaked Android mashup called Nokia X.

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Instead of Google's services, like Gmail and Drive on Android phones,

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there's Microsoft's Outlook and One Drive.

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It's no wonder some people are calling the Nokia X

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a crossover phone.

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Of course, the manufacturer hopes the people will get on

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to its ecosystem and spend money on apps.

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With an estimated 1.8 billion people in the next five years getting

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connected for the first time,

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Nokia wants a slice of that purchasing power pie.

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The Mobile World Congress is full of exhibitors big and small.

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And it's amazing the sorts of things you do find

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when you immerse yourself in the halls.

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For example, here's a lab, which is itself quite immersive.

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Hands up whose phone has met its end after an accident like this.

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Well, this is why it happens.

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When water gets onto an electrical circuit,

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it causes the thing to corrode as soon as the current starts to flow.

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Within seconds, the circuits are ruined. But, here is one solution.

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Here are two tissues. They both feel exactly the same.

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If I dunk this one in this bowl of water -

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surprise, surprise - mache.

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But if I take THIS tissue and dunk it in the water, watch what happens.

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That is just the most bizarre feeling.

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It kind of fights the water. It doesn't want to go under it at all.

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And, even when it does, the water just sits on top of it.

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And when I take it out of the water...

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it's dry.

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The water's just completely run off of it.

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That is, to all intents and purposes, waterproof.

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The dry tissue has been nano-coated with an extremely thin layer

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of so-called hydrophobic material,

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which keeps the water just nanometres away from doing any damage - presumably by scaring it.

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Nano-coat your electronics in the same way,

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and no amount of electricity will cause a fuss - or a fizz.

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After five minutes, the untreated phone on the left

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is so badly corroded you can actually see it.

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The one on the right is totally protected.

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And now, from one kind of dunking to a completely different kind,

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with LJ.

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The French basketball team have won their last 18 games,

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but now I've come to give them a few tips.

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They're actually here at Mobile World Congress

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to demonstrate some technology.

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And of course, it's wearable.

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There are washable wires woven throughout this vest.

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The wires send data from the players' bodies, like their heart rate,

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to a detachable module on the back.

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It's a prototype, so the finished module will be half the size.

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A bit like me.

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Data can be sent via Bluetooth for each player to use personally,

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or all the players can share the data for more sophisticated analytics.

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Good performance analysis

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could make the difference between being on the winning or losing team.

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Actually, sport strategy and technology have been entwined for many years.

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Tennis changed radically after metal rackets were developed,

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and anyone playing with a wooden racket would simply not be able

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to keep up with the new technology.

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These days, the racket race is still on,

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with modern ones made from aluminium and carbon fibre

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making the game faster and more precise than ever.

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But this racket, from French company Babolat, has gone further.

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It's also a virtual coach.

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It analyses your moves, and collects information while you play.

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To keep within the International Tennis Federation rules,

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the data can only be accessed afterwards.

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Once synced via USB with a laptop

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or in this case Bluetooth to a phone,

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the racket gives a post-match analysis.

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It shows how long you've played, how many forehands and backhands

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you've hit, that sort of thing,

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but it also says exactly where on the racket

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you're hitting, and how much spin you're putting on the ball -

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presumably to help players modify their style

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once they see the readings.

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And, there's a social element to the app.

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Here, my score is compared with top player Rafael Nadal.

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Unsurprisingly, his score is a little higher than mine.

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Back to Spen.

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LJ Rich. Now, as smartphone processes get faster and more powerful,

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one of the other technologies that needs to keep up is the storage.

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As you take videos and photos with for example

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this ring of smartphones, they have to write to their storage incredibly quickly,

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and one of the things that SanDisk is showing off with this

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ring of beauties is just how fast these cameras can catch the photo.

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For example, if I turn around

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you get this effect.

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Now, to be honest this should have been something a little more like

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The Matrix's bullet time effect

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but due to shall we say network problems,

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a lot of the cameras failed.

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It worked for other people,

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but after two days of trying to rescue MY footage

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the Hollywood studio behind the prototype

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had to go a little off-grid.

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I do feel like I'm in The Matrix - just not in the way I expected.

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And if you thought that was eye-popping, here comes Jen Copestake

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with something that most definitely isn't.

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Many people worry about the effects staring at a phone or tablet

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for hours on end can have on the eyes.

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But a new app aims to change your perspective.

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The Ultimeyes app claims to help you see further

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and sharper than before you used it.

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It uses simple puzzles that activate the visual cortex in your brain,

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which controls eyesight.

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The app features a series of fuzzy target blobs you click on,

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which become harder to see as the game progresses.

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The game is targeting your brain, not your eye muscles,

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and works on new research into how the brain

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can be fundamentally rewired through exercise.

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For years we've known that if you exercise your body,

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it could be stronger and you could do better at the things you do.

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And now it's more and more the case that we know how to do this

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with the brain, and so I'm excited about trying to make

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tools that will be generally promoting mental fitness.

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Ultimeyes was tested by 19 baseball players,

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who used it 30 times in 25-minute intervals.

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The distance at which they could see clearly

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was lengthened by an average of 31% after using it.

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Seven of the players achieved a remarkable 20/7.5 vision,

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meaning they could see at 20 feet what someone with normal eyesight can see at 7.5.

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Don't expect that if you just do the programme for 25 minutes

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your vision's going to suddenly be better.

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Prolonged exercise is required,

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and typical studies in perceptual learning

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require weeks and months of training,

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and if you want to really get changes that are going to

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make you be able to see a line or two lower on an eye chart,

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you really need to work at this.

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I'll be honest, it takes a lot of patience to get through the sessions.

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The research into whether or not this app

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will have any significant long-term effects is exciting,

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but whether it can be replicated with a bigger sample remains to be seen.

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Jen Copestake, going easy on her eyes.

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And just as we're getting used to touching

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and swiping our gadgets,

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devices like Xbox Kinect have introduced us

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to a whole new way to control them. Gesture.

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And if your device doesn't come with gesture recognition,

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or even touch for that matter,

0:19:300:19:32

then Israeli outfit eyeSight can retrofit it with special software.

0:19:320:19:37

Apps for Apple and Android devices use the front-facing camera

0:19:370:19:40

to watch out for your waggles, and then convert them

0:19:400:19:43

into their respective touch command.

0:19:430:19:46

This PC's webcam can do all that and spot special gestures,

0:19:460:19:50

allowing you to mute your music

0:19:500:19:52

with a simple shush.

0:19:520:19:54

OK - next up, it's Kate Russell, with Webscape.

0:19:540:19:57

It's thought that by 2016 one-third of the planet's 7 billion people

0:20:020:20:07

will be using social media.

0:20:070:20:09

For a more efficient way to talk to them, try Buffer.

0:20:090:20:13

This publishing tool lets you manage all your key accounts

0:20:130:20:16

through one simple dashboard,

0:20:160:20:18

with built-in analytics to help you see which content

0:20:180:20:21

is most engaging for your followers.

0:20:210:20:23

It's not uncommon to have more than one social media account for different purposes -

0:20:290:20:34

LinkedIn for business, Twitter for random link sharing,

0:20:340:20:38

Facebook and Google+ for longer conversations and keeping up with the family -

0:20:380:20:43

but you don't want to spend too much time keeping them all updated.

0:20:430:20:47

After all - you have a real life to live as well as an online one, right?

0:20:470:20:52

You can choose which networks to share stuff on, and even schedule

0:20:530:20:57

those posts to happen at times when your followers are most active.

0:20:570:21:01

Browser extensions in various flavours

0:21:010:21:03

are a brilliant time-saving addition,

0:21:030:21:06

and there's loads of other popular integrations

0:21:060:21:09

like If This Then That and Trapit,

0:21:090:21:11

to make sharing fantastic content even easier.

0:21:110:21:14

Another useful app if you want to know what's around you

0:21:150:21:19

is World Around Me, on IoS and Android.

0:21:190:21:22

The lite motion is free and ad-supported,

0:21:220:21:25

using augmented reality to put a label on your camera viewpoint

0:21:250:21:29

for attractions like restaurants, hotels and other useful amenities.

0:21:290:21:34

If you want to get really serious about finding your way about

0:21:490:21:52

in a strange place, though, you could hire a local guide.

0:21:520:21:56

Dopios is a community site that allows travellers

0:21:560:21:59

to search for local guides by destination,

0:21:590:22:02

and then filter the results by the kinds of things they like to do.

0:22:020:22:06

So, if you like going to museums and looking at dinosaur bones

0:22:070:22:11

you can choose someone who knows all the best historic sites.

0:22:110:22:15

Or, if you're more inclined to spend your time shopping, you can

0:22:150:22:19

pick the perfect partner to show you around the retail hotspots.

0:22:190:22:23

And this means you can make sure you get the best host

0:22:230:22:26

possible for your trip, whatever you like to do.

0:22:260:22:29

From art lovers to techies, foodies or the outdoors type,

0:22:340:22:39

each guide lists the tours they offer,

0:22:390:22:41

and the website checks and verifies them

0:22:410:22:44

to make sure everyone is kept safe.

0:22:440:22:46

You can sign up to be a guide as well

0:22:460:22:48

if you think you have something to offer, which could be a nice way

0:22:480:22:51

to earn a little extra money, just showing visitors around town.

0:22:510:22:56

Kate Russell's Webscape.

0:23:000:23:02

And just before we leave the Mobile World Congress for this year,

0:23:020:23:06

how about this as an idea for a future mobile application?

0:23:060:23:10

You've driven to work, parked your car in the car park

0:23:100:23:12

and then you remember you've forgotten to buy the milk.

0:23:120:23:15

Well, you go online, you do your shopping,

0:23:150:23:18

and Enrico turns up, with his shopping bike.

0:23:180:23:22

By pressing a button on a special app on his tablet

0:23:220:23:24

he makes your car flash so he can find it.

0:23:240:23:28

With a second press of the button, he unlocks your boot,

0:23:280:23:31

and then he can pop your shopping in there while you're still at work.

0:23:310:23:36

Closes the boot and then with a third press,

0:23:360:23:39

he can lock your car again.

0:23:390:23:42

This is possible on Volvo cars at the moment

0:23:420:23:44

because many Volvo cars are already connected to the internet, and that is an idea...

0:23:440:23:48

-BICYCLE BELL TINGS

-..ting-a-ling yourself...

0:23:480:23:51

for the ultimate mobile shopping experience.

0:23:510:23:56

And that really is it from Click in Barcelona.

0:23:560:23:59

For more on our adventures, go to our website

0:23:590:24:02

and follow our exploits as ever on Twitter.

0:24:020:24:06

Thank you very much for watching, and we'll see you next time.

0:24:060:24:09

This week, Click visits the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to explore the very latest in smart phone technology. Plus the latest news and Webscape.


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