The historical home of yearly mobile excess: Plaça d'Espanya in Barcelona
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — When we shuffle from meeting to product demo to boozy party it’s easy to forget what a weird place the yearly Mobile World Congress is. Tens of thousands of attendees flood Barcelona’s hotels and commandeer its taxis, while companies from tiny to huge spend a fortune to sell and promote their wares.
As Ferris Bueller might say, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it. Here’s a quick look at the best, worst and weirdest of this year’s show.
Look anywhere and you'll see buzzwords and meaningless phrases. And just think: somebody thought these things up
Not every stand was fully buzzword compliant. Golla's case display look more like a cool high-street clothing store
An Ice Cream Sandwich-shaped ice-cream sandwich. And an iPhone
The Android pavilion was turned into a giant playground for adults
If you want to see grown men and women sliding down an enclosed chute, then Mobile World Congress is the place to be
This is the last Android photo, I promise. This wall pulsed, flashed and otherwise freaked people out
The Big O. Opera keeps coming back. We wonder how it affords a booth
This is the Spare One, an emergency phone with no display that runs on an AA battery. It will remain dormant for 15 years, and I bought one for 40 Euros
QR codes were everywhere, prompting me to scream 'just give me a damn URL' every time I saw one
Samsun'g Galaxy Note practically force-fed us paint and pictures
Ones and zeros. All I see now is blonde, brunette, redhead...
LG's 4:3 Optimus Vu is as huge and ridiculous as you'd expect
Clearly, if Android phones continue to grow, they'll end up looking like this
Microsoft was offering €100 if your phone was faster than its phone. Apparently Steve Ballmer will have to take a salary cut this year to pay for it all
Amidst a dearth of anything interesting, at least the schwag is getting better: These snap around your wrist to make a nerdy bracelet
LG's 3-D showreels were't exactly subtle. One even featured a pole vaulter running at the camera
Pegasus. Made from phone screens
Where would a trade show be without booth babes and... Batman and Batwoman?
Intel decided to distract us from the Ivy Bridge delays with colorful flashing lights
It's not just the big names that come to Barcelona. Shenghe, anyone?
Mouth detection? I don't even want to ask
A public transport strike planned for the duration of Mobile World Congress was canceled. It would have made no difference, as everybody gets around by taxi
Nothing's better than a beer at the end of a long day. Unless it's Budweiser that has been left in the sun
Charlie Sorrel sits in his gadget nerve-center in Barcelona, Spain, and spits out words about various weird plastic widgets while the sun shines outside his iCave. Previously found at Wired.com's Gadget Lab covering cameras, power cables and sneaking in as much Apple-centric coverage as he could, Charlie spends his rare moments outside perched atop a bicycle and snapping photos. You can follow him on Twitter via @mistercharlie