Mobile's biggest show, Android invasion, tablets galore, ID cards' end...

Photos of the month - February 2011
By silicon.com staff, Contributor
1 of 15 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Photos of the month - February 2011

February wouldn't be February without a trip to Barcelona which, for four days each year, becomes the mobile capital of the world as the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show rocks into town. 2011's event drew more than 60,000 delegates to the Spanish city to check out the latest mobile kit, network with fellow industry execs, listen to keynotes from the likes of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and take in fluffier conference sights, such as this Firefox costume.

For more of the weird and wonderful mobile clobber on show at this year's MWC, see Photos: 3D screens, nano-tech, WinDroid, wireless charging - must be MWC11.

2 of 15 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Google's Schmidt wasn't the only evidence of the search behemoth at MWC this year. On the contrary, Google's Android logo could be seen all over the exhibition space. As well as Google having its own Android community area on the show floor, including a giant slide, smoothie bar and the developer pods pictured above, it distributed Android pin badges to other companies' stands, encouraging delegates to explore the different corners of the Android ecosystem.

For more on Android at the show, see Photos: Google Android marketing madness at MWC.

3 of 15 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Hardware launches at MWC included a bevy of Android smartphones from HTC - and also the Taiwanese mobile maker's first tablet device: the Android-based HTC Flyer, pictured above being shown off during a press conference by company CEO Peter Chou.

The seven-inch slate has a capacitive screen but also a retro throwback in the form of a stylus for note-taking and annotating. HTC also unveiled two smartphones with "deep Facebook integration" - the HTC ChaCHa and the HTC Salsa.

For all the kit unveiled by HTC at MWC, see Photos: HTC Flyer tablet and five new smartphones.

4 of 15 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Another Android-based tablet to pop above the parapet at MWC was Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 - pictured above - a large dual-core slate that runs the tablet-centric Honeycomb version of Google Android's OS.

Samsung also unveiled an update to its Galaxy S smartphone: the Galaxy S II offers a larger screen and a thinner form factor. To see all Samsung's MWC kit, see Photos: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Honeycomb tablet unveiled.

5 of 15 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Three slates and you're out? Mobile maker LG also had an Android-based tablet to unwrap at MWC. The dual-core 8.9-inch slate pictured above - called the LG Optimus Pad - also runs Google's Honeycomb version of Android, and includes a 3D recording feature owing to twin cameras on the back.

3D was a theme for LG - which also unveiled a smartphone with a 3D screen. For this device and for more on its tablet, see Photos: LG Optimus 3D glasses-free smartphone.

6 of 15 HP

HP also had a tablet-shaped rabbit up its sleeve last month - announcing the webOS-based 9.7-inch TouchPad tablet, pictured, just before the MWC slate frenzy kicked off.

The electronics giant, which bought mobile and OS maker Palm last year, also announced two new webOS smartphones, the Pre3 and the Veer. To see all the kit HP unwrapped, see Photos: HP launches TouchPad, Pre3 and Veer.

And follow this link to see a video clip of HP's TouchStone contactless technology being used to share a web page between the TouchPad and Pre3.

7 of 15 INQ

Another Android-based smartphone getting its debut in February was the Facebook-focused INQ Cloud Touch handset, pictured above. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg cropped up at MWC in a recorded video message to tell mobile lovers to expect "dozens" of Facebook phones this year.

For more on INQ's Cloud Touch, see Photos: A look at INQ's Cloud Touch Facebook phone.

8 of 15 Volvo

Also last month, silicon.com took a look at a European Commission-funded research project that could result in automated road trains travelling across Europe by 2021.

Safe Road Trains for the Environment, or Sartre, is a project aimed at developing a system to enable cars to follow and be controlled by a lead vehicle.

Shown above is the first test of the technology outside a simulator, which was carried out at a Volvo test track in Sweden last December.

Find out how the system works and the major challenges faced by the research team, in Photos: Robotic car convoy gets motoring.

9 of 15 University of Groningen

The University of Groningen unveiled its Reality Touch Theatre which, at 10 metres wide, is described as the world's biggest touchscreen.

The facility is being used to study how people interact with each other when dealing with on-screen data, and in the development of geographic information systems.

Find out more, in Photos: World's largest touchscreen powers up.

10 of 15 EPFL

Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland are looking at the effect virtual reality has on people's perceptions of themselves and their bodies.

Subjects are fitted with a stereoscopic visor that puts them in a virtual world and their head is fitted with the electrodes to monitor brain activity in relation to different virtual and physical stimuli.

silicon.com took a look last month - find out what the researchers are doing in more detail, in Photos: Virtual reality, avatars probe consciousness.

11 of 15 Nick Heath/silicon.com

February was also the month that the ID cards scheme literally went up in smoke.

At a secure site in Essex, the last hard drives that held the biographic and biometric details of ID cardholders were chewed up inside this industrial shredder and then incinerated.

A total of 500 hard drives and 100 magnetic tapes containing the details of 15,000 cardholders and ID card applicants were destroyed at the site.

For more pictures of the database being destroyed, see Photos: ID cards database shredded and burnt.

12 of 15 Anybots

One day these little robots may be a common sight in the office.

The Anybot telepresence robot can be remote-controlled over the internet - allowing the user to get around the office and talk to colleagues without having to leave their home.

For more on how to send a robotic you into the office, see Photos: The robot you can send to work.

13 of 15 Scott Brownrigg Interior Design

Google unveiled its smart new London offices to the public in February.

The new offices, designed by Scott Brownrigg Interior Design, mix the British seafront with a modern aesthetic, and are brightened up by items such as timber beach huts that serve as meeting rooms and giant dice that double as videoconference booths.

Discover more of the offices by visiting Photos: Inside Google's new London offices.

14 of 15 Google

The search giant also launched a service that allows people to back up and share documents created in various Microsoft Office applications using Google Docs.

People selected to access documents using Google Cloud Connect receive an email with a link to the document in question, allowing them to view the document via the web browser.

Check out how it all works, in Photos: Google Cloud Connect in depth.

15 of 15 Google Art Project

Lastly, the search behemoth took the wraps off another project that uses its Street View technology - trundling its cameras into art galleries to record images of the works on display.

Pictured above is the Google Art Project's view of a room in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. For more on the project, see Photos: Google Street View cameras capture works of art.

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