Once again, this week the MobileWorld Congress is taking place in Barcelona. The beautiful city is a perfect vacation getaway and the greatest place one could grow up and live (I miss being there so much), but it also happens to be the venue for the most famous congress in the wireless/mobility industry, which kicks off today.  While the name implies serious business, it’s actually the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, attracting more than 50 thousand attendees every year.  So it is serious business, but also a celebration of the latest and greatest in mobile technology and innovation from around the world.

For the 5th year in a row, after a couple of times being held in Cannes, the congress is hosted in Barcelona. And, the experience has been so great so far, that the deal was recently renewed and Barcelona will be the venue for the next 5 years. In that decision, Barcelona left congress-less such great cities as Milan, Munich and Paris. This way, Barcelona has become the Mobile Capital of the World.

A last minute threat of strike in Barcelona’s public transportation system got everyone on their nerves for a while, but finally the unions were reasonable and smart and the event will take place smoothly.

A lot of cool things will be presented, and I will make sure to write a post about those next week or so. I am specially interested in a Machine-to-Machine/Internet-of-Things project by AT&T that offers smart-home and smart-office solutions. I think that, in an overly saturated mobile market where one expect better and cooler phones every year, network-enabled appliances and the emerging of the Internet of Things will be among the breakthroughs that we’ll see soon.

From the press release:

Conserving energy, checking on the welfare of loved ones, or maximizing home security can be as easy as pressing a key on your smartphone or tapping the screen of your tablet. AT&T has designed a new platform to offer these types of connections to service providers around the globe.

AT&T today announced its plans to launch AT&T Digital LifeTM, an IP-based remote monitoring and automation platform to equip global service providers with the capabilities to offer their subscribers customizable, web-based home automation, energy and security services.  The platform, a complete end-to-end solution, will enable providers to offer their consumers devices like wireless sensors and cameras that will communicate with a control center inside the home, managed through a web based user interface.  Digital Life features licensed software development kits, and other services like hardware certification, application hosting, and technical and integration support.