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Exploring the Future of Connectivity and Tech: Insights from MWC Barcelona 2024

Mike BrownDirector, Product Management April 05, 2024

Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona is one of the largest and most influential gatherings in the world for the mobile industry. Hosted by the GSMA, this year over 100k+ attendees came together to discuss the latest trends, innovations, products, and services in wireless technology.blacklines-mike-brown-and-christine-gillies-at-mwc

Director of Product Management, Mike Brown, left, and Chief Product & Marketing Officer, Christine Gillies, represented Blackline Safety at the event

As an innovator in connected gas detection, Blackline Safety was honored to exhibit along with other Canadian tech companies as part of the Alberta Trade Mission to MWC 2024. Thanks to senior trade officer, Svenja Chenikel, for all the support getting Blackline set up to attend. Participating in the event ensures we are staying current with the direction of the wireless industry.blackline-representing-as-an-innovator-in-connected-gas-detector

This year, the conference was buzzing with talk of 5G, the digital transformation of the telecom industry, and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in boosting business and tech. On the consumer side, the show is always a beacon for new tech demos (for example, see-through laptop screens, foldable phones, etc.). 

We spent much of our time exploring the future of communications, including 5G advancements, assessing the effectiveness and best practices for AI applications. We also spent time looking for practical observations and deployments of Digital Twin applications, which allow planners and designers to simulate how people, vehicles, and everything else moves through a space, and model how they will move in an updated or changed landscape. This technology can help inform key decisions around design and infrastructure.

The technology we learned about at the event will help inform Blackline’s product strategy and direction as we bring the latest and most advanced tech into our product roadmap, putting our products and customers at the forefront of wireless innovation.

5G Technology

There is a lot of excitement about the potential application of 5G technology in industrial settings. Bringing the benefits of high bandwidth and low latency to industrial applications enables customers to run mission critical applications on highly reliable networks, a step forward from existing infrastructure. In Fire and Hazmat, these technologies could allow our devices to be preferred connections for emergency responders wearing Blackline tech especially during network congestion.

One of the intriguing opportunities brought forth by 5G includes network slicing, which allows for the creation of dedicated virtual networks tailored to specific applications. These dedicated virtual slices can guarantee the required quality of service, reliability, and security for mission critical deployments. For safety devices like the G6 and G7 and EXO, this network slicing technology ensures workers can communicate when they need help—even when networks become congested—meaning our time-critical alerts reach our monitoring services without delay.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI, AI, AI. This year (as we expected), AI was the talk of the event. technology-mwc-2024While the telecom CEOs were discussing the merits of AI in their network optimizations, the chip designers at Qualcomm are releasing on-device open-source AI models, bringing the power of AI to products even when they aren’t connected. Nearly every phone manufacturer was displaying applications where AI enabled much better photo recognition experiences directly into the photo editing and organization apps.

From an industrial perspective, we saw examples of displays where AI is being used in data analytics, highlighting compelling scenarios for data-centric applications. We saw report automation from Microsoft on structured data sets, massively reducing the time required to analyze and visualize data.

At Blackline Safety, these types of innovations will allow us to bring better data and reporting options to our customers by making their data more accessible and easier to use, enhancing productivity for devices users and safety managers.

Digital Twinning

In the digital twin space, we saw demos of Satellite generated 3D models of cities. Sourcing location data from IoT devices, the models map out entire cities with multi-story and precise location data for users.

Detailed site models could help improve plume modelling, and these sorts of location engines can be used to improve the situational awareness of first responders, enabling faster and more efficient emergency response.

The Future of Connected Devices

While some of these technologies may be in prototype or demo status today, the future of connected devices looks promising, and the evolution of the tech industry continues. With greater access to connected technologies and cloud integrations, hardware-led product companies can continue to innovate, and bring better experiences to their customers. At Blackline Safety, we’re staying on top of these innovations so we can bring the best in wireless and cloud technologies to our customers now, and in the future.


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