Meshh headed off to Barcelona and Mobile World Congress this week, to introduce ‘Hyper Local Media’ to the masses and demonstrate the technology in action. From the start of the first day and after some cold introductions at various stands, we had a clear indication that our offline wireless solutions have multiple applications across a range of industries and by the nature of those conversations, we’d come to the right place!
But we hadn’t come just to sell, we were also there for inspiration and to find new opportunities in burgeoning markets where the ability to deliver extremely rich content is stifled by the ability to stream. One of those very noticeable trends was Virtual Reality. And VR was EVERYWHERE!
Samsung Galaxy launched their S7 by placing a Gear VR headset onto every seat of the main auditorium, which has caused quite a stir and prompted some amusing memes. The well documented PR stunt still worked very well and allowed the audience to be distracted whilst Mark Zuckerberg made his way right past the sea of headsets to walk on stage. The huge crowd, who were all immersed a very personal, visceral experience, provided a clear demonstration on how social VR will become something that we all do together, or to be together virtually.
It’s clear from the wired devices in the picture below, that VR companies are still looking for ways to embrace audiences at scale, with the flexibility of movement and enough data bandwidth to deliver rich data experiences. There is a huge case for Hyper Local content to be cached near by and enable high speed streaming of these experiences, on any device – We definitely feel it’s the more flexible way of doing things!
Samsung also managed to provide one of the most impressive stands at the event, with a huge mechanical, virtual roller coaster on which 40-50 people were able to experience one of the world’s most fearsome rides. The pull of the ride was the reactions of those already taking part with occasional screams, hand holding and even some hands being waved in the air. Theme parks of the future will definitely start to look a lot more like this!
Other interesting innovations from our perspective, were enabling lesser developed countries to start communicating on a wider scale to help with relatively simple problems that cause huge effects on those who are affected. One of these companies is WeFarm and enables farmers in Kenya to connect to a centralised database of information on farming, veterinary, technology and engineering advice, just by sending a free text from their mobile phone. A cure for an infestation, a livestock disease or even how to repair a tractor are all things we’d expect a farmer to know, but in the third world, access to this type of content is extremely difficult and communication is a massive challenge. Synergies with Hyper Local Networks means that are also additional ways with which they are able to deliver more information to reach these remote workers.
By Invitation of Deloitte, Meshh were invited to pitch on the last day for the Mobile Innovation, Hardware and Devices session, where a live poll determined the winner. Dave Black, CMO and Co-Founder, talked through the revolutionary way in which content will be consumed crossed the UK transport networks and in locations such as stadiums, shops, tourist attractions and hotels. Although we were not the victors (a very smart, human connection device, ‘Little Riot’ won the vote) there was a great interest from a number of the large audience who were keen to see how Meshh could be used for their own connectivity and content issues. This for a very young, yet ambitious, company was a huge boost of confidence.