MWC: Behind The Scenes
01 Mar 2012
Our full MWC 2012 diary: bizarre dancing, sweaty press rooms, men dressed as mascots
Well, Mobile World Congress 2012 is over, and already feels like some kind of drug-induced dream (nightmare?). We played with dozens of phones, tablets and other gadgets, and over the remainder of the week we’ll continue to bash out our full hands-on MWC previews, so keep checking back for more of our sleep-deprived thoughts.
First though, here’s a quick round-up of our time in Barcelona, taking you behind the scenes of Europe’s biggest mobile gadgetry conference.
The MWC press room was a sweaty hive of activity. Activities including coffee drinking, swearing, fighting and occasional mental breakdowns.
I was smart enough to fly in this day, before taking a relaxing meal with some very nice people from Alcatel. Natasha meanwhile was slaving away seeing all MWC had to offer, and you can read her full account here.
Eleven hours of running around was the order of the day, and we managed to get hands-on with around two dozen devices. We quickly noticed that
Android is all over the place, as are people dressed as the loveable green mascot
Or in this case, blue
Of course, Natasha has to pose by every one we see, but at least they're cheery fellows!
Also all the rage are the Android pin badges you can collect from stalls. This gentleman actually had a case of them, and was willing to swap for any he didn't have. The way people were clustered around, you'd think he was selling illicit substances.
There's even a special Android zone where you can win a plushy Android. We failed miserably, of course - only because it was blatantly rigged. We demand our money back!
We managed to grab an Ice Cream Sandwich before we left to cool our rage. This was actually our lunch too. In fact, this is all we ate until we hit a tapas bar at 9pm that evening. I wish I was joking....
After indulging in a few Estrella Damms and a sea’s worth of calamari last night, it was a bleary-eyed start for sure. Walking to the Fira, squinting into the sun, was a rather harsh way of waking up. We had lots more to see, though, so no time to waste.
Most random MWC 2012 booth (of today)
A tour of Sony’s booth was great fun and gave us serious geek chills (full hands-on coming tomorrow), and we swung by a few other stands too. One of these was the NTT docomo stand, which was showing off a breath/fat measurement system for your Android smartphone.
Breathe into a special attachment and you’re told rather bluntly whether your breath reeks. Somehow, despite three days of sweaty cheese sandwiches and coffee, our breath was apparently as fresh as roses:
Perhaps it was just being polite, so we didn’t throw the thing across the hall. It can also detect alcohol on your breath, but we were too worried we’d be off the charts.
Another random attachment measures your body fat and muscle content by having you squeeze the edges, although it does cheat by making you input your height, weight and measurements beforehand. Natasha is apparently all muscle, which pleased her a bit.
Most random MWC 2012 ‘WTF’ moment
Lots more running around was the order of the day, until we stumbled across these fellas in the courtyard.
We honestly couldn’t tell you what they were trying to promote, or what the hell they were actually doing, but we stood there slack-jawed as they pulled off various silly walks and bizzare poses.
They were still there three hours later as we charged past again. We can only imagine how hot they were, prancing around in those suits in the 20-degree Barcelona sun. The sweat was gushing off all four of them.
We stopped being bewildered long enough to shoot a short video, so you can experience the full randomness personally.
MWC 2012 wraps up
As the booths closed up and the mountains of trash were wheeled away, we staggered back to the airport just in time for our easyjet flight. Once again we’d neglected to eat, so a manky€5 spam and egg sandwich was quickly devoured – just as well that came after the breath analyser.
If you’re reading this just as it was posted, we’ll still be training it back home from Gatwick. Spare a thought for our fellow passengers as we’re no doubt reeking and babbling nonsense under our breath.
Thanks for sticking with us through MWC 2012. We've posted tons of hands-on photos and videos, so check out our main news site for the full run-down of all of the juicy tech. Cheers!
Chris and Natasha