Mobile World Congress: from nappy change alerts to waterproof phones
Smart baby pyjamas
The news that your baby's nappy needs changing eventually reaches your nose, but that information could now arrive more quickly by text or email. Exmobaby will demonstrate a wearable baby monitor that can detect an infant's vital signs and relay them to phones, PCs and tablets. The sensors are hidden under layers of fabric, which the manufacturer says makes them virtually undetectable to human touch.
The washable pyjamas pick up humidity, movement, skin temperature and heart rate. They connect to the internet using low-power digital radio… and are, of course, rechargeable.
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images
On Wednesday, Microsoft will unveil a test version of Windows 8. This is the software firm's make-or-break chance to catch up with Apple and Google in the battle to control the computers of the future, be they smartphones, tablets or humble PCs. A radical redesign of the three-year-old Windows 7, it has been described as Microsoft's most important software release since the original Windows 1.0 in 1985, when the interface switched from a blinking cursor on a black background to graphics.
Windows 8 will work with touch screens and its look has been inspired by Microsoft's mobile operating system Windows Phone, already installed on the latest Nokia and HTC handsets. It will work on the chips made by UK firm ARM Holdings, which are inside practically every tablet made today.
Japanese electronics firm Fujitsu will make its debut in the already crowded European smartphone market with a pragmatic concept – the waterproof handset. In Japan this feature is already commonplace, but in Europe water damage is one of the biggest causes of insurance claims for smartphones.
Motorola is already using Aridion, made by Oxfordshire company P2i, a nano-coating that bonds with the surface of external and internal components and does not peel or scratch off. Instead of a coating, Fujitsu's handsets have a waterproof seal on the battery case, and resist leakage at a depth of up to 1.5m, which should make them at least loo-proof.