Green check
Link copied to clipboard

Three Takeaways From MWC 2022

As we continue to develop our Ultralytics app, we wanted to see what the others are doing right.

Facebook logoTwitter logoLinkedIn logoCopy-link symbol

As we continue to develop our Ultralytics app, we wanted to see what the others are doing right. So, what better place to see this than at the world’s biggest mobile communications conference?  

Walking into MWC and 4YFN early in the morning on day one was hectic, to say the least. Surrounded by businessmen and women from across the globe, we entered Fira de Barcelona alongside the more than 60,000 people in attendance. While bouncing between the eight conference halls and doing around 15,000 steps each day, we were able to experience firsthand the world’s most cutting-edge technology and network with the individuals who bring it to existence.  

Some of the most impactful moments of the conference for us were listening to Cristiano Amon of Qualcomm and Pekka Lundmark of Nokia deliver their keynote speeches. Both CEOs touched on the importance of connectivity in a world that has a rapidly increasing demand for clean energy, transportation, and the production of goods.

Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Nokia
Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Nokia, delivering his keynote address

Metaverse is the Moment

According to Cristiano Amon, the metaverse could become as big as smartphones, citing the fact that the most used tools on personal computers across the world are for communication and collaboration.  

Emphasizing its meteoric rise to popularity, “metaverse” was the word on the tip of everyone’s tongues. While many companies brought VR headsets and immersive experiences to their booths, South Korea Telecom invited MWC attendees to strap on a VR headset and climb on into its giant robotic arm. Here, attendees could experience what it's really like to soar through space on rocketships in the metaverse.  

The metaverse is the digital landscape that exists in virtual worlds, augmented realities, and other digitally rendered environments. Blurring the lines between a digital and physical presence, the most popular manifestation of these virtual spaces currently is the world of gaming. Amon suggests the future will take it further than that. Combining the connectivity of the metaverse with 5G networks will allow people to perform various tasks from anywhere. "You can go visit a friend in a different country or you can go shopping … you can do your groceries," said Amon. "  

Leading us to our next takeaway…  

Connectivity is Key Brought By 5G

The slogan of MWC22 was "connecting everyone and everything to a better future."   With the slogan in mind, industry leaders dwelled on the fact that we are well into the 4th industrial revolution: heavily driven by the pervasiveness of data. With more access to useful data and information, the global community will benefit from the resulting increase in development and innovation.  

Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm
Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm

Everybody must have access to telecom services and electricity to be able to fully participate in the new world. 5G networks will make this participation the norm for people everywhere. With better, faster internet access, individuals previously left out of the information revolution will now be able to readily access the global wealth of knowledge. Take solar power, for example. While ⅓ of the population of Africa currently uses open-fire wood stoves, the continent is expected to double its electricity consumption by 2030. As a landmass that receives a ton of sun, solar energy is a viable route to keep the continent powered.  

However, being able to accurately and efficiently scale supply to meet demand will be a challenge. Renewable energy supply can often depend on sometimes unpredictable weather patterns. In some locations, a surplus of energy can be generated, while in others supply is unable to meet demand.  

To tackle this problem, communication networks will be lightning-fast and closely connected to manage the entire electrical grid. Predictive maintenance and the mapping of energy consumption will effectively allow the distribution of renewable energy across Africa. Tightly intertwined, being able to deliver electricity quickly with 5G to those across the globe is inherently related to access to means of communication.  

Net-Zero is Not Enough. Net-Positive is.

We must be positive and we must think big according to Paul Polman, ex-CEO of Unilever and author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take.   Polman pointed out that the world has made progress on climate change and inclusion. But, he said, ‘it is not enough to focus on the “net neutral" impact of business - instead, we must aim for a net positive impact.'

Doing good is not just a matter of proving to shareholders that your company does some charity work. Polman pointed out that CSR has failed because it is "driven by guilt." Instead, companies should aim to make a net positive impact because this is simply good for business.  

We can't live in a world where growth does not benefit everyone, he said: "No company can succeed in societies that fail. "

Paul left us with three takeaways:

  1. Sustainability must be kept at the heart of your business. It won't work otherwise.
  2. We need to work together - cooperation is key. And collaboration is not just between businesses but with government and civil society as well.
  3. We're too focused on quarterly results rather than the long term, where we should actually be invested.

And finally, our favorite Paul Polman quote: “we can’t live on smaller and smaller islands of prosperity in a sea of poverty.”  

Next Year in BCN

MWC22 was definitely one for the books. As we continue to grow Ultralytics as a company, we are eager to take to heart the lessons we learned at the conference.

Let’s build the future
of AI together!

Begin your journey with the future of machine learning

Read more in this category