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The 6 strangest gadgets from Mobile World Congress 2018 – Yahoo Finance

The 6 strangest gadgets from Mobile World Congress 2018 – Yahoo Finance

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="BARCELONA — Any gadget gathering the size of Mobile World Congress won’t just feature items that solve an obvious consumer need in a predictable manner. You’re also going to run into</span>hardware that defies expectations — and sometimes explanations.” data-reactid=”15″>BARCELONA — Any gadget gathering the size of Mobile World Congress won’t just feature items that solve an obvious consumer need in a predictable manner. You’re also going to run intohardware that defies expectations — and sometimes explanations.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Here are six that to do both.</span>” data-reactid=”16″>Here are six that to do both.

Huawei’s pop-up webcam

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You won’t need to use a Post-it note to cover this webcam.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="When this manufacturer decided to max out the screen size on the upcoming</span>MateBook X Pro laptop to 13.9 inches, there was no room left at the top or bottom of the screen bezel for the traditional webcam. Meanwhile, Huawei’s designers noted how many people nowcover the webcam on their own laptops.” data-reactid=”38″>When this manufacturer decided to max out the screen size on the upcomingMateBook X Pro laptop to 13.9 inches, there was no room left at the top or bottom of the screen bezel for the traditional webcam. Meanwhile, Huawei’s designers noted how many people nowcover the webcam on their own laptops.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Which is why the row of function keys on this €1899 laptop includes a hidden camera. Press it, and the webcam pops up for your next Skype call or Google (</span>GOOG,GOOGL) Hangout. It’s angled up to catch your face — and, unavoidably, your nostrils.” data-reactid=”39″>Which is why the row of function keys on this €1899 laptop includes a hidden camera. Press it, and the webcam pops up for your next Skype call or Google (GOOG,GOOGL) Hangout. It’s angled up to catch your face — and, unavoidably, your nostrils.

Nokia’s banana phone

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The Nokia ‘Banana Phone’ will let you live out your favorite ‘Matrix’ fantasies.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Beyond a sharp-looking set of Android phones distinguished by their up-to-date, unaltered versions of Google’s operating system, Nokia (as in, the</span>HMD Global firm that licenses the name) unveiled the8110 4G.” data-reactid=”61″>Beyond a sharp-looking set of Android phones distinguished by their up-to-date, unaltered versions of Google’s operating system, Nokia (as in, theHMD Global firm that licenses the name) unveiled the8110 4G.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="You’ve seen a phone like this before — either because you used the original 8110 in the 1990s or because you saw Keanu Reeves take a life-altering call on one in The Matrix. This relaunched version will presumably not lead you to take the red pill when it ships in April for €79 (U.S. availability remains unclear). But it will offer 4G connectivity, voice-over-LTE calling, dual SIM slots allowing you to switch between carriers, and a battery life measured in days.</span>” data-reactid=”62″>You’ve seen a phone like this before — either because you used the original 8110 in the 1990s or because you saw Keanu Reeves take a life-altering call on one in The Matrix. This relaunched version will presumably not lead you to take the red pill when it ships in April for €79 (U.S. availability remains unclear). But it will offer 4G connectivity, voice-over-LTE calling, dual SIM slots allowing you to switch between carriers, and a battery life measured in days.

Dynamics’ connected credit card

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This connected credit card can communicate directly with your bank.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The uncreatively named</span>Wallet Card may be thethinnest wireless device you’ll ever use. This credit card packs in a battery that recharges itself through everyday movement (Pittsburgh-based Dynamics isn’t quite clear on how that works), a small e-paper display, simple buttons and a cellular transmitter.” data-reactid=”84″>The uncreatively namedWallet Card may be thethinnest wireless device you’ll ever use. This credit card packs in a battery that recharges itself through everyday movement (Pittsburgh-based Dynamics isn’t quite clear on how that works), a small e-paper display, simple buttons and a cellular transmitter.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The idea is that banks that issue the card and can then talk to it in real time — for instance, sending out a new account number if the old one gets compromised, or asking the cardholder if they’d like an increase in their credit limit. So far, Dynamics has lined up commitments from such card issuers overseas as</span>Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui but has no U.S. deals announced yet.” data-reactid=”85″>The idea is that banks that issue the card and can then talk to it in real time — for instance, sending out a new account number if the old one gets compromised, or asking the cardholder if they’d like an increase in their credit limit. So far, Dynamics has lined up commitments from such card issuers overseas asJapan’s Sumitomo Mitsui but has no U.S. deals announced yet.

CAT’s laser-equipped, air-sniffing phone

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The CAT Phone is built for contractors.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="CAT’s (CAT) chunky, ruggedized</span>S61 Android phone features some unusual tools intended for builders, contractors and very ambitious home-improvement types that help explain its $999 price. It includes aFLIR infrared camera to visualize hot or cold spots in a house, a laser distance sensor that can measure up to about 32 feet away, and an air-quality sensor that can warn of dangerous levels of, for instance, the volatile organic compounds in most paint. It also runs Google’s latest version of Android, which is both nice to see, and not a given in smartphones.” data-reactid=”111″>CAT’s (CAT) chunky, ruggedizedS61 Android phone features some unusual tools intended for builders, contractors and very ambitious home-improvement types that help explain its $999 price. It includes aFLIR infrared camera to visualize hot or cold spots in a house, a laser distance sensor that can measure up to about 32 feet away, and an air-quality sensor that can warn of dangerous levels of, for instance, the volatile organic compounds in most paint. It also runs Google’s latest version of Android, which is both nice to see, and not a given in smartphones.

Modius: Will this headband make me look less fat?

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The Modius headband is supposed to help suppress your appetite.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The weirdest wearable I tried at MWC was the white headband from</span>Modius Health, which the company says suppresses your appetite byelectrically stimulating your vestibular system. (It’syet to get FDA approval for that use.) The Belfast firm advises wearing it for an hour a day until you lose the weight you want, at which point you can step back.” data-reactid=”133″>The weirdest wearable I tried at MWC was the white headband fromModius Health, which the company says suppresses your appetite byelectrically stimulating your vestibular system. (It’syet to get FDA approval for that use.) The Belfast firm advises wearing it for an hour a day until you lose the weight you want, at which point you can step back.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="I tried one for a few minutes and can report that it felt like I was being massaged behind the ears by small biting insects. I can also report that the odds of that brief treatment helping me lose weight here must be near zero, given all the ham and cheese I’ve gobbled at various MWC receptions.</span>” data-reactid=”134″>I tried one for a few minutes and can report that it felt like I was being massaged behind the ears by small biting insects. I can also report that the odds of that brief treatment helping me lose weight here must be near zero, given all the ham and cheese I’ve gobbled at various MWC receptions.

Asus’s notch

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This might look like Apple’s iPhone X, but it’s really a new ASUS phone.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Asus introduced its</span>latest lineup of Android phones Tuesday night, and theZenFone 5 got the most stage time. This Android phone, starting at €479, ships with a variety of artificial-intelligence routines to finesse things like taking pictures, optimizing charging times to prolong the battery’s lifespan, and setting the ringer volume to match your environment. It also features a 6.2-in. screen that takes up 90% of the front of the phone.” data-reactid=”156″>Asus introduced itslatest lineup of Android phones Tuesday night, and theZenFone 5 got the most stage time. This Android phone, starting at €479, ships with a variety of artificial-intelligence routines to finesse things like taking pictures, optimizing charging times to prolong the battery’s lifespan, and setting the ringer volume to match your environment. It also features a 6.2-in. screen that takes up 90% of the front of the phone.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Which means, yes, it has a notch at the top like that of the Apple (</span>AAPL) iPhone X to avoid subjecting its users to the indignity of a full-width bezel for the front cameras and other sensors. Global marketing head Marcel Campos bragged onstage that Asus made a smaller notch than Apple: “Our notch is 26% smaller than the fruit phone!”” data-reactid=”157″>Which means, yes, it has a notch at the top like that of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone X to avoid subjecting its users to the indignity of a full-width bezel for the front cameras and other sensors. Global marketing head Marcel Campos bragged onstage that Asus made a smaller notch than Apple: “Our notch is 26% smaller than the fruit phone!”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Yes, “fruit phone.” What is this, high school?</span>” data-reactid=”158″>Yes, “fruit phone.” What is this, high school?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Rob:” data-reactid=”159″>More from Rob:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook</a>,&nbsp;Twitter,&nbsp;Instagram, and&nbsp;LinkedIn” data-reactid=”165″>Follow Yahoo Finance on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Email&nbsp;Rob&nbsp;at rob@robpegoraro.com; follow him on Twitter at&nbsp;@robpegoraro.” data-reactid=”166″>Email Rob at rob@robpegoraro.com; follow him on Twitter at @robpegoraro.

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