Feb.28 - A bath-proof phone and a GPS walking cane are just some of the more whacky designs to hit this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Ciara Sutton reports.
Hundreds of thousands of mobile phones get dropped down the toilet every year - but this handset from Sony could be the answer. The Xperia Z can reportedly be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. It's one of many designs unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The phone has been well received by the industry and Sony hopes by offering a little extra it may even challenge the iphone. Engineer Fred Gunther. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SONY'S STAFF VERIFICATION ENGINEER, FRED GUNTHER, SAYING: "You don't have to worry about getting caught in a rain storm, you don't have to worry about when you're at your kids swim practice losing your phone in the pool. It's a worry free product that will withstand the test of time" The Congress attracts more than 70,000 visitors a year all searching for the next big thing in mobile technology. And it's not just the big guns of the phone world out to make their mark. The meeting is a hot-bed of smaller start ups, pushing the boundaries of phone design. Lael Andrew Alexander is founder and president of Noitavonne. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF NOITAVONNE, LAEL ANDREW ALEXANDER, SAYING: "It's an android operating system. You actually have a working keyboard so you can actually text message, utilise it as a flyby mouse for your laptop, controller on your television. It is a smartphone so no more putting your phone to your ear. You can actually speak to it because it has an omni-mic." And it's not just handsets keeping delegates entertained. Fujitsu's new walking cane has built-in GPS. Marketing director James Maynard says it's aimed the elderly and shows the company's focus on technology to support the medical sector. Product Marketing Director AT Fujitsu, JAMES MAYNARD,SAYING: "It's got the capabilities to take the heartbeat measurements and that can all be uploaded to the cloud and then pulled down. So whether it's location or heartbeats, we can upload that to a cloud and then pull it down to either you GP or to family members to help locate the person or find out if they're unwell or how they are doing at any given time." Attracting investment is the aim of the show. And getting potential buyers to notice is half the battle - some designs clearly do that better than others