The MWC and Immersion in New Realities
by Oscar Jacobo Bacelo (ONTIER). Last week, the 17th edition of the MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS (MWC), the most important technological fair in the world, was held in Barcelona. Beyond the attendance figures, the presence of important figures from the public and private sector, and the number of business opportunities that may have arisen from this massive event, the most noteworthy aspect has once again been the innovation that characterizes this technological gathering.
ONTIER had the opportunity to be present and was able to firsthand verify what initiatives and technologies were presented and announced during the congress. Although there were impressive hardware initiatives, the MWC once again shows us that companies have focused on software and, in parallel, on generating the hardware and tools that can support it.
Contrary to what may have been published in certain media outlets, the idea of metaverses continues to be more present than ever. And the positioning of companies and entrepreneurs in web3 seems key in this race to arrive first and capture a share of a still incipient market pending development. From national champions such as TELEFONICA to large global multinationals such as HUAWEI or SAMSUNG, they are trying to advance the tools that will allow, in the not-so-distant future, to interact in the online world in an immersive and persistent way. Finally, discussions are focusing on the main uses or how to take advantage of this new hyper-digitalized reality, taking its arrival for granted.
To this end, new augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools and initiatives have been presented, which aim to accommodate our presence and participation in online realities, from hyper-realistic education and training, to networking or new forms of work relationships; even enabling in-person and online participation in offline or mixed events. In this regard, the virtual reality headsets of META (QUEST) or its competitor PICO, as well as a proposal for assisted reality glasses from OPPO, have been showcased at the MWC.
The development of infrastructure to enable 5G connectivity has once again been shown as the key to enabling manageable and intuitive presence in any form of metaverse, with higher connection speeds and, above all, lower latency. However, China and South Korea want to go one step ahead and are already talking -and boasting- about the arrival of 6G mobile networks, which could shift connectivity to a new level in the medium term.
All of this, as it could not be otherwise, will bring new and not-so-new legal needs, especially focused on the protection of intangible assets, particularly in the complicated process of generating an idea and protecting its materialization, as well as the transfer of transactions and contractual relationships that are mainly physical to the digital or “phygital” world. Also, the leveraging of data, whether provided by the user, observed by the technology’s responsible or owner, but above all those data that can be inferred from the handling and accommodation in these new forms of personal relationships. On the other hand, cybersecurity is essential to be able to give users confidence in accessing these new initiatives, as well as the deterrence or, if necessary, investigation and prosecution of increasingly common economic crimes with a technological component.