Sometimes it's not all about the phone or tablet, but all the cool gadgets that add more fun and functionality to your device. This year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona showed off some fantastic mobile accessories, ranging from powerful to playful. From Android-powered media centers and wireless pet trackers to a Bluetooth pen that adds NFC to any device, here are the best accessories we found at this year's show.
We’ve seen network-attached storage drives that let you share content between all of your devices. We’ve seen home media centers that stream content and we’ve seen stick PCs that let you turn your TV into a large-screen Android station. But we’ve never seen a device quite like Samsung’s HomeSync, an attractively designed set-top box that’s a full-fledged Android device, with a 1.7-GHz dual-core ARM processor but also a 1TB hard drive for storing media files it can then share across the network or even over the Internet.
If you’re looking to bring a little more security to your smartphone or notebook, the ProtecQ line of products can help add that second layer of authentication. There are two parts to this product: the FingerQ software, available for both Android and Windows, and the ProtecQ hardware, a selection of fingerprint scanners for smartphones and notebooks. When these two products work together, you can ensure that your information stays safe.
If your furry little friend has a penchant for wandering off, the Tractive pet tracker may help keep your mind at ease. The Tractive tracker snaps onto the collar of your cat or pooch and uses 3G data and GPS tracking to give you updates and information about your pets whereabouts, as well as electronic fence features and a light to help you find your pet when it's dark.
Some companies come to Mobile World Conference to push the envelope of mobile device performance and specs, but other companies just want to bring a little fun to the industry. Elecom showed off two playful accessories for the iPhone 5: a fun, portable battery charger with some surprise app functionality and a case that brings some analog gaming to your digital device.
NFC technology is really exploding as of late, as almost every new smartphone and tablet comes with the tech built in. But what if you want to read NFC tags and your phone doesn’t support it? And what if you have to read NFC tags all day long for work and you don’t want to whack the back of your expensive tablet against another hard surface thousands of times? The vWand, a wireless stylus that reads NFC tags and transmits the results back to your device over Bluetooth, solves both problems.