Here Are the Most Mesmerising Things I Saw at MWC 2018

By Tom Pritchard on at

Go to any big trade show and you will see plenty of things on show. Tech shows are no different, and even though MWC is primarily aimed at businesses and enterprise users, there was no shortage of interesting things on display. Most of it was mobile and 5G related, but there were plenty of wacky things on show that you could easily sit and watch for hours. Here are all my favourites.

This is Doogee's flexible display prototype, and while it's hardly the first of its kind it's still incredible to watch it bending like this without shattering into a million pieces first. It's still rather baffling as to why phone companies would be invested in this sort of tech, seeing as how the rest of the phone's components are still pretty solid, but it's an amazing sight nonetheless.

I don't actually remember what this was supposed to be, but I was pretty captivated by the fact they thought it was a good idea to put some sort of severed head into a robot and move it around. Mesmerising in a horrifyingly creepy sort of way.

A rugged phone from French (I think) phone company Crosscall. This was accompanied by another couple of displays showcasing the phone in different environments, including frozen in a block of ice. All I can think of here is this, however:

Again I have no clue what this is for, but I'm guessing something to do with picking up and transporting boxes or parts. It was making a fair bit of noise as it moved, but it was pretty nice to look at for a few minutes.

These didn't come out so well on video, since you can see the fan blades moving, but viewed up close they do look amazing. HYPERVSN is working on the problem of developing convincing 3D holograms, and its solution is using a system of fans with built in lights to produce a moving 3D-like image. Imagine it like a fancy, not-shit version of those LED fan clocks you can buy. Not the kind of thing most people will go out and buy, but a really cool solution to a problem that has been bugging people since at least the first Star Wars movie.

Google obviously had a big presence at MWC, even coming with a dedicated area filled with stands designed to flog Android products. One such stand was serving up Oreo ice cream with various fillings, but rather than just handing out scoops it was all made by hand - as you can see in the video above.

Finally, while not mesmerising per-se, here are some interesting and/or weird things I saw that weren't moving.

This right here is some sort of flying car contraption, though in reality it's one of those giant drones lots of companies think are the future of premium transport. While it's a little bit like a one-person helicopter, I can't look at these and not think of Todd and the Drone Throne from the latest series of Bojack Horseman.

This stand belonged to Oookla, of Speed Test fame, and on the screens behind everything you can see the tests taking place in real time. Obviosuly up top you can see the total number of tests that have taken place since the service first launched all those years ago.

This is a 3D printed face of some sort, on display at NEC's stand. Why? I'm not too sure, but since the stand was all about 5G and its relationship to security it's probably something to do with that.

If this reminded you of the NES Zapper gun from Duck Hunt, then you have a good memory. That's basically what it is, albeit given a 21st century virtual reality upgrade by HTC. The Vive tracker on the top tracks where your gun is moving around in VR while you can shoot and reload with the trigger and rear button respectively. The Hyper Blaster, as it's known, was made by Hyperkin - the same company that developed that smartphone Gameboy system amongst other things, and it let me shoot VR zombies with incredible accuracy.

This is a fidget spinner pen, which lights up when you press the white buttons on top. Why? I don't know, but obviously I had to take one home with me.

Vodafone had its own rip-off of Tron's light cycle. No idea whether it worked, but firing it up in a busy convention centre would have been a bad idea.

A lunar module which confused me immensely, until I saw the news that Vodafone was launching a 4G network on the moon. It's not confirmed whether this actual lander will be sent up there or not.

This is ZTE's Axom M folding smartphone, which is set to leave America and be released in Europe soon. This is what it looks like when you use the display as one big display. Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave.

HTC had a cool little exhibit to show off the new Vive Pro, sticking people inside a virtual hot air balloon and letting them fly it around. Sadly there was a big queue and I didn't get to try it out for myself, but our friends at TechRadar did.

Just... what? Screw this, I'm done.