From a little robot capable of striking a pose for a camera to a pocket translator, here are the top five gadgets from the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2019.
Photo credits: Lavviebot
Held on 25-28 February 2019, Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona offered up its fair share of surprising innovations. Here are the top five gadgets from this year’s edition.
1. Smartphone-operated lightbulbs
How to adjust the light in your living room without getting up from the sofa? With a view to solving that dilemma for millions of couch potatoes, Chinese company Xiaomi, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone operator, has unveiled a smart LED light bulb that allows users to control both its colour and brightness remotely through a mobile app or Amazon Alexa.
According to the company, the light bulb emits no fewer than 16 million different colours.
2. Companion robot
South Korean robotics company Torooc caught the eye of MWC attendees with its little robo-companion, Liku, which can walk and show its emotions in a very lifelike way, thanks to its large Manga-style eyes. The robot, which stands 45cm tall and weighs 1.13kg, boasts a forehead camera that allows it to recognise its owner’s mood and interact. If you enter a room and greet Liku, it will turn towards you, make eye contact and smile.
Its eyes can express emotions such as surprise, happiness and sadness, and it can also give the impression it’s falling asleep. Point a camera its way and Liku will smile and strike a pose, playing around with its arms and legs.
“We’ve made Liku in such a way that it looks lovable and elicits positive feelings, and we hope it will be your first robot friend,” said Torooc’s Chief Marketing Officer JaeHee Chang. The robot should come onto the market at the start of next year and will retail at around USD2,500.
3. Dog health tracker
Unveiled by Spanish startup Dinbeat and called DinbeatPRO, this smart health tracker features a series of sensors that measure the breathing rate, body temperature and heart rate of your dog. What sets DinbeatPRO apart from the many other wearable devices allowing owners to track their dogs’ health is that it has been designed for use by the vets treating them.
“Up to now devices have been designed for humans and were far more complex, with lots of cables everywhere, which meant they could only be used when the animal was asleep,” said Marina Gomez de Tejada, project manager at Dinbeat.
4. Self-cleaning cat litter box
A cat owner’s worst nightmare is not having someone to leave their pet with when they go away on holiday. Coming to their aid is South Korean startup PurrSong, which has launched LavvieBot, a self-cleaning cat litter box.
When your cat does their business inside LavvieBot, a rake gently removes clumps without breaking them apart in the process. The device can also send a text when your cat uses it or when its bag-lined drawer needs to be emptied.
“It’s aimed in particular at cat owners who don’t have the time to look after their pet the whole time or who just don’t want to have to clean the litter every day,” said PurrSong’s Chief Marketing Officer Heaven Nam.
5. The smart pocket translator
Designed by a young Dutch company by the name of Travis, this pocket translator can translate a conversation between two people speaking different languages in real time. The device, which also has a headphone jack and makes use of artificial intelligence, connects to the cloud to translate pretty much anything in 105 different languages.
All the user has to do is select the two languages in question by voice command and then start talking. The conversation is translated virtually in real time.
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