Tech companies unveiled cutting-edge gadgets at the Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, including the 'world's first' flying car. (AP)Gadgets 

At MWC 2024, Robot Dogs and Flying Cars Steal the Show as Mobile Gadgets Take Center Stage

Numerous tech companies presented a wide array of interconnected devices at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024 in Barcelona, the largest wireless telecom fair in the world, which concludes on Thursday.

Here’s a selection of highlights:

The “world’s first” flying car

US-based Alef Aeronautics presented to the public for the first time a working model of what it says is the world’s first real flying car.

“It drives like a car, looks like a car and has vertical lift,” said company CEO Jim Dukhovny.

The electric car has received a special airworthiness certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The current prototype can carry two people up to about 110 miles (170 kilometers), and the company expects to begin production of the final version in late 2025.

The company has already received almost 3,000 pre-orders for the car, which will be sold for $300,000.

Robot dog

Chinese company Tecno Mobile introduced a robot dog inspired by the German Shepherd that uses artificial intelligence and powerful sensors to understand voice commands and perform realistic actions such as bowing, shaking hands and climbing stairs.

Dubbed “Dynamic 1,” the robot can also be controlled by smartphone apps and aims to provide “the joy of pet ownership” without the hassle.

Transparent laptop

Chinese manufacturer Lenovo unveiled a prototype laptop with a 17.3-inch transparent glass display that offers a “completely borderless and transparent display experience.”

Instead of a traditional keyboard, it has a touch surface on which the keys can be projected or you can draw on the screen with a special pen. The company has not announced the release date of the product.

The transparency of the screen can be adjusted so that all passers-by cannot always see what you are doing.

“The transparent screen only existed in futuristic movies, maybe in AR glasses. It’s just a thing of the past as we can see,” said Aiguo Zheng, executive director of Lenovo.

A partner doll that works with artificial intelligence

The fabric frame, floral blouse and brown hair make Hyodol look like a child’s doll. But Hyodol, manufactured by the South Korean company of the same name, is aimed at seniors.

Equipped with sensors and AI-power microprocessors, it can play songs, remind seniors with a voice message to take their medicine, and notify the user’s guardian if no movement is detected within a certain time.

The 35-centimeter (14-inch) tall doll is designed to speak when the user touches it according to customizable time settings, such as mealtimes.

“We are committed to empowering seniors to live independently while staying connected to their community and loved ones,” the company said.

Bad speech converter

Dutch startup Whispp introduced a calling app that uses artificial intelligence technology to mask speech disorders caused by things like throat cancer, stroke or even stuttering into the user’s natural voice in real time.

Unlike other speech-to-text solutions for people with speech disorders, the app allows the user to talk to anyone on a phone or laptop and maintain a natural flow of conversation while sounding like their own healthy voice.

“We’re really helping people who lost their voice get their voice back,” said Whispp founder and CEO Joris Castermans, adding that he hopes the app will one day be on every smartphone “to make this world more inclusive.”

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