Lucie Loves… Tech & Travel // My trip to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with Microsoft Lumia Voices

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March was pretty incredible. To kick off the month I was invited - as a Microsoft Lumia Voices Advocate - to join 30 other amazing Lumia Voices team members from around the world to attend Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, for three full-on tech-laden days.

To get the full Microsoft experience I was handed my very own Lumia 830 to document the trip and share my highlights with the rest of the Lumia Voices (previously known as Connects) community back at home - wherever that may be - using the #ConnectsMWC and #AchieveMore hashtags. 

It was actually quite refreshing not to be lugging around my Canon 5D MKIII for once - that camera is a beast! Here’s a few snapshots to give you an idea of what we got up to during our 3-night stay.

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I took a flight from London Gatwick airport to Barcelona after a hearty breakfast at Jamie’s Bar. From there I was taken to the Hotel Sant Just - a short taxi ride away from MWC at Fira Gran Via and this stunning view.

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On Sunday evening we were all invited for a team dinner at the hotel where we swapped stories and introduced ourselves before peeling off back to our rooms to get a good night’s sleep before our very early start the next day.

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We arrived at MWC at 7am on the Monday morning where we made our way to the Microsoft stand - complete with hot air balloon DJ booth where we would each be given a lesson in DJing (I was appalling and will not be taking up the profession any time soon…) Once settled into the Connects corner for the Microsoft presentation we waited with baited breath to hear what new products were going to be announced. 

I was shocked to see that there was hardly any women in attendance at MWC. It was like 95% men, 2% women and 3% booth babes - come on guys! However, us Lumia Voices (Connects) girls were able to show that women are at the forefront of technology. Whether that is as bloggers, YouTubers, scientists, techies, designers, photographers, marketeers or coders: Tech has a massive role to play in all of our lives. Women need to be seen as leading on tech decisions that will shape our future - and celebrated for it, as supported by the liked of @ThePhoneographer.

We need #womenintech making decisions - not dressing up to entertain #MWC15@MargaretEWard@AnnODeaSR@minniemelangepic.twitter.com/ITUd5zzrmP

Anyway, rant over. I was particularly impressed with the Microsoft HoloLens - it’s the kind of tech that I dreamt we’d have in 2020. The Universal Foldable Keyboard went down a treat too - perfect for those who regularly compose work emails on-the-go or find it frustrating tapping at a tiny onscreen keyboard. There were oohs and aaahs when Microsoft announced two new affordable Lumia phones: the 640 and 640 XL during the keynote speech.

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I also had the chance to test out Oculus Rift. The first was a hot air balloon journey which made you feel like you were soaring above the clouds. The second involved me operating a digger on the Ericsson stand which was actual a working piece of machinery located 2500km away in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Note: I’d never driven a digger before and was pretty impressed at how this technology could potentially allow someone like me - or my nieces or nephew when they grows up - to virtually travel huge distances but work from the comfort of their own home - possibly even venturing into particularly dangerous parts of the world, without having to leave family and friends for months at a time.

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It was an incredible example of how, in just a couple of months, Ericsson’s User Experience and Real-Time Communication Research teams have worked together to create something mind-blowing that is likely to change the lives of workers forever. 

Another highlight of my trip was learning how to make my own stop-motion animation with creative genius and Viner, Yves Das. Yves taught me how to create a short film of his little character Guido so that he looked as if he was pulling my Lucie Loves business card around the table whilst the Connects Rubik’s cubes danced about in the background. It was so fun! 

**To create your own stop motion animation using a Lumia phone download the Vine or Stop Motion Studio.**

Watch my video below to see the finished product. I love it!

So what else happened… We attended a very interesting Q&A with Microsoft’s CVP of Mobile Device Marketing, Tuula Rytila who answered lots of questions from members of our group about the future of Lumia and flagship devices and also about the potential to do more with XBOX.

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We saw how scientists could potentially use small clip-on microscopic lenses attached to a Lumia device to view slides and help aid their research. I think this shot shown below was the leg of a fly…

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Learning about tech and meeting new people is hungry work. We were treated to some delicious Spanish paella at La Gavina restaurant which overlooked the harbour.

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We went light painting with Yves Das in the Gothic Quarter before dinner on the last night at El Nou Ramonet. 

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After a few attempts we managed to get some very cool shots. I took the photo of the Lumia sign below using my 830. 

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If you fancy trying out light painting for yourself watch Mattias Burling’s YouTube video below.

Here’s a few of the other Connects team members tech blogs, instagram accounts, fashion blogs, YouTube accounts and websites that you should check out. These guys made Barcelona an absolute joy to visit - thank you.

Follow us all using the #ConnectsMWC Twitter list

Photography © Lucie Kerley

Thanks to Mattias Burling for the photos of me trying out Ericsson’s Oculus Rift experience.