03/03/2016 Click


03/03/2016

A comprehensive guide to all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news.


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Transcript


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Now it's time for Click.

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This week: how not to wear your headphones.

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Cow joins the Internet of Things.

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And people clap a plug.

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Every year, as spring comes knocking on the door,

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Barcelona opens its gates to the Mobile World Congress,

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a place where anyone with anything mobile comes to flaunt their mobile

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wares.

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Almost all the biggest mobile manufacturers,

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with one notable exception, Apple, launched their latest

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devices at this event, and this year is no different.

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And in fact, if there is one company that can rival

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Apple in terms of high-profile product launches these days,

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it's Samsung.

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This is the new Samsung phone, the S7 and S7 Edge.

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More of an improvement than a complete

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redesign on last year's model, the S6.

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But it does have some favourite features from older models too.

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All hail the return of the much-missed

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More storage, anyone? of the much-missed

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And yes, Samsung is once again waterproof, it is true.

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May be the most notable new feature is the game recording mode,

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which means you can record as you play

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your favourite title, a game caster's dream.

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The AMOLED screen is power efficient enough to stay on all the time,

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in part at least, so

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you can keep your eye on the time or the date

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without killing the battery.

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The S7 Edge now curves all the way around, should you care,

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and it even has a ruler, a killer app,

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ladies and gentlemen - until someone invents,

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I don't know, a ruler!

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LG also unveiled its new flagship device, the G5.

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This is a modular phone where the bottom slides out to

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make space for other attachments, like this music player

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by Bang Olufsen, which can play back hi-fi audio.

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And a camera attachment, LG Cam Plus,

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essentially reshapes the device for a better camera grip,

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gives the phone extra juice and has a physical

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zoom dial.

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In fact there haven't been many other big phone announcements

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on the big players this year.

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Sony has launched a selection of mid-range

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devices.

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Huawei, now the third biggest manufacturer of mobile

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phones in the world, has no new phones on show but it has

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running Windows.

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Although it is a bit nicer, a bit lighter and a bit slimmer.

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and smartphones may have hit a lull.

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The devices are no longer flying off the shelves,

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and so the industry is trying to refocus its efforts

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on the next big thing.

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Which is what?

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I hear you ask.

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LJ Rich and Kate Russell are on the MWC

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show floor looking at some of the possibilities.

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Internet of Things is the buzz phrase flying around this place

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again this year.

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Does anyone actually know what it means yet?

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Excuse me, Internet of Things?

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I don't speaking wish.

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It's very great.

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It means everything you have and everything you see will be

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connected to a large network.

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Well, technology is going very fast and

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wearable devices, this is the future, I guess.

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Why would you connect your toothbrush?

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Because my dentist says it's going to be good

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for me.

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Well, it's connecting everything together,

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so that's from a personal and professional

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perspective, connecting everything digitally.

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Most specifically it's connecting devices, allowing them to talk back

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and forth and communicating back to humans about

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what they are doing.

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Everywhere you look there seems to be somebody

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somewhere claiming that their device is smarter than the next.

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The connected fridge horse is still being flogged with food

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ordering through a built-in tablet, though

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why this is better than using a regular tablet

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is still a mystery to me.

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When we get connected food containers it might well be able

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to tell you when the milk has gone off.

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You know, in case your nose and your taste buds suddenly stopped working.

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Talking of not working, this voice-activated personal robot

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might look cute, but today he's really not in the mood

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for listening.

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Play some Rolling Stones.

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Rolling Stone is a biweekly magazine that focuses on popular culture.

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On a more serious note, this kit demonstrates how

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the Internet of Things could help lifeguards monitor a beach.

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Motion sensors on buoys talk to 360 cameras

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on the light towers calling in an alert if they spot

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a swimmer in trouble.

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Clothes are also smartening up.

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We are used to seeing contactless payment symbols on our credit

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and debit cards these days but MasterCard are stuffing

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this technology into all kinds of wearables.

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I could pay with this dress, I could pay with a glove,

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I could pay with this ring.

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I could even pay with Michael's arm.

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Thank you, Michael.

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Michael is actually wearing an NFC payment band

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that is measuring his heartbeat to authenticate the transaction.

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This will give us as consumers much more

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peace of mind, especially when it comes to making bigger purchases

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using NFC.

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The reason I can't where it is as soon as I take it off it's

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not going to be valid any more and I won't be able to clear any

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transactions, so I'm afraid, Michael, you're coming with me.

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See ya.

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And for the selfie obsessed, your face could soon be

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your fortune as biometrics replaces the MasterCard secure code

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by authenticating a transaction with a

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selfie.

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Shoppers need to blink to prove to MasterCard they are alive.

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Who's a clever boy? Who's a clever boy?

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A better behaved robot, this beauty is to show off a

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collar-mounted tracker for your pooch.

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Recording activity levels and sending an alert if it strays

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from a safe zone.

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And it might even keep an eye on his health when he in transit.

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But while I'm looking after the dog LJ Rich is looking

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after some grapes.

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Come here and have a look at the bottom.

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We've actually got soil sensors.

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These are measuring temperature and humidity,

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and then further on up with got another sensor here.

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This is measuring humidity and temperature

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in the air, as opposed to this oil.

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The whole thing is solar powered.

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The idea is that these grapes will be able to tell the farmer

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when it's time to pick them.

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The software, called Traco Vino, collects this sensor data alongside

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other things like sunlight intensity, and this

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gets sent to the farmer's mobile device.

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But it doesn't stop there.

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Monitoring crops like this helps farmers know what the plant's

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experienced.

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For example, plotting it against the weather.

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Once more data is gathered the software should

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be able to predict the quality and quantity of the produce.

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The system is currently on trial in four German

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vineyards.

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Agriculture is not the only thing to get the Internet

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of Things treatment.

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There are many 'udder' ways to connect.

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Fujitsu's connected dairy cows to the farmer

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who can find out more about cow health, therefore how much milk

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their herd is creating.

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Think software as a service connected to cows.

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'Legend-dairy'.

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Take this idea a step further and you get what amounts

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to a fitness monitor for cows.

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Senso Wave showed us some connected cows in a farm in northern Spain.

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I wonder if they charge up using a 'moo-SB port'.

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Real cows in real-time.

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This is a farm and we've got the three cowers here,

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and clicking on each cow brings up a picture with the information.

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That's where this cow has gone in the last day.

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That's amazing.

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It's because there is so much data already that farmers can more easily

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tell when a cow needs attention, disease can be

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caught early, which apart from obviously being better

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for the cow, can save the farmer money.

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This year's Mobile World Congress is full of cars.

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Well, I suppose they are mobile.

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This early demo shows intelligent sensors spotting road

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hazards and recognising landmarks to assist the driver.

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It can even translate foreign road signs.

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Handy, but I'd like to see how well it works in a dynamic real-world

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environment.

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And Volvo wants you to leave your keys behind,

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unlocking and driving the car with a smartphone app.

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This makes sharing keys quick and easy, and you can take them back

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just as easily with a swipe.

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Useful for car rentals and perhaps disciplining surly teenagers.

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Enjoyed yourself. Thank you so much, brilliant.

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The good news is they have said I can take this baby for a test

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drive, so I've got the key on the app and...

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Oh! Oh no.

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The battery is flat.

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So we are seeing improvements in phone screens, phone

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processes and in phone cameras.

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One thing we have not seen much change

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in over the years is phone batteries.

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They are pretty much all still rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

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Apart from this one.

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Researchers at the Graphene Institute in the UK have taken this

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phone's battery out and replaced it with a super capacitor

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which is partly made of graphene.

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Graphene is this wonder material that everyone

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is talking about these days.

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It is really conductive, it's flexible,

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and it's really, really strong.

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And it turns out it can store a vast amount of energy too and absorb that

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energy really quickly.

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A few seconds of juice from the mains can keep

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this phone going for minutes.

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The vision is that one day our mobile devices could have

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graphene-based batteries, which not only charge

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super quickly but also last a lot longer too.

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Here at Mobile World Congress graphene is making an appearance.

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Like this graphene-coated film that could be used

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for industrial packaging.

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There is a small area here dedicated to these

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kinds of technologies.

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How about this to feed our ever-hungry mobile

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phones?

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A graphene-powered charger pack.

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This will recharge in five minutes.

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It doesn't mean you can charge your phone in five minutes,

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but you can then plug your phone into it on the go.

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This is the first prototype and will only charge a large phone

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like this via about a third.

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Next year they hope to have the third prototype out

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which will be able to fully charge it.

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Here's the secret.

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Inside the battery pack is layers, about 25 layers

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of graphene ink-coated oil.

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That allows this battery pack to charge super fast.

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You can then pop it in your bag and take it with you.

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Another possible solution is a hydrogen fuel cell battery.

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With something this size, think of it

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like a mini power station using hydrogen to make power.

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So it's not refillable or rechargeable, you

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would buy replacement batteries like this and this could last up

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to a week alongside your typical lithium-ion battery in here.

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The great thing about these is it to be

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powered completely off the grid and it's a green energy source.

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Another possibility for your mobile phone

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power management, a battery that will actually charge

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inside the phone in under 15 minutes.

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The manufacturers can't tell us what the material

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is inside the phone at the moment.

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It's all super-secret, and it's not out just yet.

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But when it is they say it's going to be the safest and fastest

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way of charging your phone in all of the world.

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SPEAKS SPANISH

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Mobile World Congress, the only place in the world

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where there is a press scrum for a phone charging.

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But wouldn't it be great if you didn't

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have to charge your phone quite so often?

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This handset has a photovoltaic layer in the screen,

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which feeds a trickle charge from solar power into the battery.

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This is the photovoltaic crystal layer

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that is embedded in that phone.

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And as you can see it's completely transparent so it isn't

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going to interfere with your view.

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I don't know about you, though, that I keep

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my smartphone in my pocket or my bag, where there isn't

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an awful lot of sunshine.

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So perhaps a better place for this would be in a smart

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watch like this one.

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As you can see, come September, this material is going to be made

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for smart watches just like this.

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5G, the fifth generation of mobile connectivity promises to be fast.

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It's even scheduled to arrive sooner than planned.

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New estimates say it will be here in 2018 rather than 2020.

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Easy access to all that tasty bandwidth on the move will

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change how we do everything.

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So how about getting up close and personal with your favourite

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pop star in real-time?

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in virtual reality.

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Could this be the future of broadcasting?

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What I'm wearing here is a simple GoPro camera that could be

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More bandwidth can mean more connections at once, opening up

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new ways to provide mobile access.

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For example, a drone like this could float a 5G

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signal over a massive ten kilometre radius for around two hours.

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It could potentially revolutionise communications

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in areas where mobile signal is weak, for example after a natural

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disaster or in a temporary setup.

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5G also means lower latency, that is it will take less time

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for instructions to go from a human to a machine and back again.

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With me is Cristian from Ericsson research, who has added

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a dimension to flying a drone, where you can actually feel it.

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Yes, indeed I have.

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Inspecting infrastructure such as wind turbines, power lines,

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agriculture and stuff like that is actually something that

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is estimated to become a pretty big business in the coming years.

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We think that doing this over 5G could actually benefit

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from all the great stuff we are thinking about developing

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as technologies right now.

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Ultralow latency, we are talking about high-resolution

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video, we are talking about Internet of Things, and cloud solutions.

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A virtual barrier where the quadcopter should not be

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programmed into the system.

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If a quadcopter gets too close to, in this case the wind turbine

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blades, the programme sends a signal to the controller making it

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harder to move in that direction.

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The remote human operator finds it more difficult to push

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the drone into the structure because they feel pressure as a warning.

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Is this controlling the forward and backward and this is controlling

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up and down?

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Yes.

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And you have sideways as well.

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It's called telehaptics and it's surprisingly intuitive

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and responds to a very light touch.

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When I try to fly too close I feel the controller pushing back, giving

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the impression of a force field.

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Aligning the quadcopter roughly with the blade with two stripes unlocks

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a bonus mode.

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I feel a slight kick back and the drone is now

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following the turbine by itself.

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It can now inspect the structure, or take pictures and readings,

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all without a human putting themselves in danger.

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What we are doing here is simulating what 5G could actually be about.

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This is no fantasy.

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All of these things we are talking about are actually in the pipes.

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If we are ever going to start seeing flexible devices then some

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of these slots are going to have to start disappearing.

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There is already rumours that Apple are thinking

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about dropping the headphone jack slot in their upcoming models.

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One of the other things that is likely to go is the Sim card slot.

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As you can see here this device actually replaces the Sim card with

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a case and instead of having a Sim card inside the phone what you end

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up with is a virtual Sim card that lives on the cloud.

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The case allows the phone to talk to the cloud, which means eventually

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with a virtual Sim you could end up completely changing

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your service contract provider every five minutes if you wanted to.

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And in fact, as you walked across the countryside

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you could hop from one service provider to another depending on who

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has got the better connection.

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Cheaper roaming?

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Yes, please.

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But a virtual Sim also has huge implications for Internet of Things,

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as Jean-Christophe Tisseuil from GSMA explained

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when we caught up at the show.

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So, today products are getting smaller.

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There are a lot of companions coming.

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You can have dog collars, a watch, Fitbits, whatever.

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Those products want to be connected independently

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from the phone to the network.

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So today if you take the Sim and the reader that you put into the device

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to take the Sim, this is going to be reduced in size by 90% and more.

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Meaning that you can use this extra space for a battery, for example.

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So, in a watch the size for a battery matters because if you need

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to reload your watch two or three times a day because the space is

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taken by the physical Sim and its reader if doesn't work for the user.

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Does it mean that users can switch providers more easily without having

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to wait for another card to be delivered?

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In the first studies we have done it is just to download one profile.

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In future releases of the specification we will do,

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you will be able to have multiple profiles in your Sim indeed.

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However, you will be, as a user, in charge of using one operator

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at a time.

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I can imagine a lot of the people here

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at this event are travelling a lot.

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Does that mean that their Sim could travel with them and change location

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with them in the same way?

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We call that plastic roaming, meaning that you play with cards.

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You can probably do the same thing with this new technology.

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Except that you will download another subscription.

0:19:020:19:03

I arrive in India, for example, and at the airport I can buy a Sim card.

0:19:030:19:07

I will buy a subscription and this subscription will be

0:19:070:19:10

downloaded to my device.

0:19:100:19:14

With this ability to give more devices their own Sim card,

0:19:140:19:16

what kind of benefits will everyday people experience?

0:19:160:19:22

Let's take the watch as an example.

0:19:220:19:24

If I'm going to day running with my watch I need to carry my phone

0:19:240:19:28

because the connection to the cellular network is over Bluetooth

0:19:280:19:30

with my device in my pocket.

0:19:300:19:32

Tomorrow with the Samsung Gear S2, for example, I will be able to go

0:19:320:19:35

out, run without carrying my iPhone or my Samsung S7, or whatever device

0:19:350:19:38

I have and independently connect to the network my watch, meaning that I

0:19:380:19:42

can make calls, access to my e-mails. Going running

0:19:420:19:44

maybe not, but I will have this independence of the connectivity

0:19:440:19:47

without the main device.

0:19:470:19:57

There are some independent providers of virtual Sim solutions.

0:19:570:20:00

You're talking about this roaming technology.

0:20:000:20:01

How is that going to fit with what you guys are doing and how are the

0:20:010:20:05

operators going to respond to that?

0:20:050:20:11

It will change things.

0:20:110:20:12

It will go slow.

0:20:120:20:13

I think it will take time.

0:20:130:20:14

It's not like this card is going to disappear overnight,

0:20:140:20:17

it's going to take a long time.

0:20:170:20:18

But it's the first bricks in the wall.

0:20:180:20:27

Another interesting find, these are no ordinary headphones.

0:20:270:20:31

Swivel the top down and you have a retinal imaging display, which beams

0:20:310:20:34

low powered LEDs off 2 million microscopic mirrors shaping the

0:20:340:20:36

light into an image inside your eye.

0:20:360:20:41

The picture is pretty good, but they aren't half heavy on your nose.

0:20:410:20:45

Wow, that's really kind of cool.

0:20:450:20:48

It feels like you have a big screen in front of you, and I was kind of

0:20:480:20:53

surprised to find you sitting there.

0:20:530:20:54

But I'm not the only one wearing goggles, I promise you.

0:20:540:20:57

This place is full of them.

0:20:570:20:58

VR bringing the wow factor everywhere you look.

0:20:580:21:01

From this hardcore VR makers, HTC revealed the final consumer

0:21:010:21:04

version of its headset.

0:21:040:21:08

So we looked at the Vibe back at CES and we already have

0:21:080:21:11

the forward facing camera.

0:21:110:21:13

But now HTC have added the ability to send and receive text

0:21:130:21:16

messages whilst you are still in the virtual reality environment.

0:21:160:21:19

And don't worry, if you want them to go away because

0:21:190:21:22

you're busy playing games there is a standard message for that.

0:21:220:21:26

Now, the big news here at Mobile World Congress is HTC have

0:21:260:21:29

announced they are going to be shipping these in April.

0:21:290:21:31

Retail price, $800.

0:21:310:21:37

Hairdressing appointments are extra, though.

0:21:370:21:41

One of the problems with VR is its traditionally quite

0:21:410:21:44

a lonely experience.

0:21:440:21:45

Well, not any more.

0:21:450:21:52

Welcome along the Starship IEEE.

0:21:520:21:54

Were about to go to Mars.

0:21:540:21:55

Before we do we are going to do some training so that you are

0:21:550:21:59

accustomed to the instruments.

0:21:590:22:00

LJ?

0:22:000:22:08

Yes?

0:22:080:22:08

Are you going to be OK?

0:22:080:22:10

Copy, Gold Leader.

0:22:100:22:11

You've now been promoted to lieutenant.

0:22:110:22:12

CHUCKLES This is a space landing game where you read

0:22:120:22:14

instructions out loud.

0:22:150:22:15

Some of them might be for you, some for the other players.

0:22:150:22:18

Change escape system to one.

0:22:180:22:19

We interact together to land our rover.

0:22:190:22:21

Realign satellite uplink.

0:22:210:22:32

Looking at each panel activates it and moving the controllers

0:22:320:22:35

in front of me changes the value.

0:22:350:22:36

It's a bit like the collaborative gaming app Space Team.

0:22:360:22:39

Change printer cartridge.

0:22:390:22:40

OK, that last one was a joke.

0:22:400:22:42

This is the first demo that I've played with in VR that actually is

0:22:420:22:45

sharing the space with other people.

0:22:450:22:47

You can see them.

0:22:470:22:48

And I can see this becoming quite a thing.

0:22:480:22:50

I've always said that VR is lonely, not any more.

0:22:500:22:54

That's pretty much it for our coverage of the

0:22:540:22:57

Mobile World Congress.

0:22:570:22:57

But just on that thought of virtual reality, you may have noticed there

0:22:570:23:00

is not that much content available for your VR goggles at the moment.

0:23:000:23:04

This could be a solution.

0:23:040:23:06

Samsung has just announced the Gear 360 which is a 360 camera,

0:23:060:23:09

so you can record your surroundings and then watch it

0:23:090:23:12

back on some VR goggles.

0:23:120:23:17

It's two lenses, one pointing that way, one pointing that way.

0:23:170:23:20

They are both really fish-eye lenses, and so together they give

0:23:200:23:23

you a 360 picture, which you can see being streamed live over Wi-Fi

0:23:230:23:26

direct to this S7 Edge here.

0:23:260:23:30

This is one of a few 360 cameras around.

0:23:300:23:33

Another is LG's newly announced 360 Cam...

0:23:330:23:38

Catchy, which records video and stitches it

0:23:380:23:39

into a 360 sphere in the camera.

0:23:390:23:42

Users of Samsung's Gear 360 will have to transfer

0:23:420:23:44

the recording to the phone first.

0:23:440:23:50

That's what's doing the stitching of Talia filming some 360 footage

0:23:500:23:53

of Talia filming some 360 footage.

0:23:530:23:54

Wow, that was all rather meta, wasn't it?

0:23:540:23:59

And who knows, this may be the thing that makes VR actually a thing.

0:23:590:24:03

Who knows, we'll have to see.

0:24:030:24:04

That's it from us, though.

0:24:040:24:06

More on Twitter as usual @BBCClick.

0:24:060:24:07

And we'll see you soon.

0:24:070:24:14

Yesterday we had some snow to start the day across parts of

0:24:420:24:45

Northern Ireland, parts of northern England too.

0:24:450:24:47

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