5 Weird New Tech Gadgets From Mobile World Congress
Every year the Mobile World Congress, which took place this week in Barcelona, showcases some of the newest and the fastest in mobile technology. But when nearly all of the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturers get together and jockey for media attention, things can get a little bizarre.
Here are a few of the strangest finds:
Samsung’s IOFIT smart shoes (from $199)
Help perfect your golf swing or up your squat game. That’s the promise of the IOFIT smart shoes from Samsung. Like a fitness tracker for feet, the shoes measure movement via embedded accelerometers and also have pressure sensors to gauge balance, weight shift, and center of gravity. People wearing them can analyze their form via a connected smartphone app. But the tech would be even more useful if the app pushed that information back into the shoes. For example, it would be great if the shoe could make your toes vibrate to indicate how to perfect a swing or improve your squats at the gym.
Sony Xperia Eye (Price not available, concept camera)
Do you wish you had a third eye that could watch and document your entire life? Maybe not, but that extra eye may soon be available. Sony’s Xperia Eye, a 360-degree camera lens being tested with both face and voice detection, allows “you to enjoy and preserve life’s moments,” as the company says. No word yet on whether it might also come with a “permanently delete this moment” feature.
LG’s G5 ($~700, to be announced)
The new LG G5 may just be the most circus-like new smartphone because it’s built to change shape. Users can open the phone’s so-called chin to swap out batteries or add on extra equipment. There’s a clip-on gadget that turns the phone into a more traditional-style camera with buttons, auto focus, and shutter lock. Or you can also use the chin to pop in a HiFi sound system that turns the phone into a high-quality portable speaker.
Foodini, Natural Machines ($1,500-2,000, to be announced)
Less nuking, more printing. That’s the future Natural Foods co-founder Lynette Kucsma envisions for a new 3D printer for fresh food. Kucsma tells Fortune that the “Foodini” is in pre-production and will ship later this year. The printer comes with empty food capsules that users fill with fresh ingredients and then pop into the printer to make homemade foods like veggie burgers, crackers, and intricate chocolates. As long as you have a little time to wait, that is.
Starship Technologies Delivery Bot (Suburban deliveries from around $1.50)
Delivery guy, meet your knee-high match. The co-founders of Skype have built a new delivery robot that cruised the floors at the Mobile World Congress. Starship Technologies, headquartered in London, may start testing the tech on streets in the U.S. later this year. But the delivery bots probably won’t be available everywhere: The company says Starship’s best equipped for suburbs, where there’s a little less sidewalk competition.