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HTC Mobile World Congress Press Conference Live Blog: Follow All The News As It Happened

It wasn’t the new HTC One launch, but it’s still amazing: not only did HTC launch a hot new mid-range flagship, but it wants to create the world’s first crowdsourced supercomputer using your HTC One. Here’s how it all went down.

All times are in Australian Eastern Daylight time.

1am
Doors have opened! The crowd is massive here at Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona, and we’re just taking our seats for the HTC press conference.

1:15

What do you want to see from HTC? Will it be the all-new One and some sort of wearable? Or just an update to the mid-range Desire line-up? Either way, we’ll be bringing you the news as it happens from 2am. Get pumped!

2:10am

And we’ve started! The chairwoman of HTC is starting by talking about her favourite art piece, made of one piece of metal, carved into tens of concentric circles. She compares that to HTC and the people dedicating their heart and soul to make a masterpiece.

“With that, we brought you the HTC One,” she says. Many people waiting on tenterhooks for the follow-up today.

2:11am

The HTC One family is the best selling product line ever for the company.

2:11am

Connectivity issues! Bear with us.

2:12

HTC still want to design the best phones in the world, she says.

2:13

“We have to keep the surprise for just one more month.”

I don’t think we’re going to see the all-new One today…maybe wearables then?

Everyone in this room just exhaled on that note.

2:15
HTC’s CEO Peter Chou is up now.

So this is an entire press conference teasing us for the next press conference? Careful, HTC…

2:16

“While other phone makers are cutting corners to make phones cheaper, we’re doubling down on good design,” says the CEO of HTC. He has dedicated 100 per cent of his time to designing good stuff now.

2:17
The bragging about the HTC One continues…

2:19
“There’s a huge opportunity for us in the middle of the market.”

Alright, new product time.

2:20

Here it is. A Mid-tier flagship called the HTC 816.

2:22

Crikey. It’s packing a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. Not bad for a mid-market phone.

2:23

HTC Boomsound is back, and it’s all powered by the Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon processor.

2:24

And it’s pretty! DEM COLOURS

2:24

The HTC Desire 816 lands in China in March, “rolling out to the rest of the region in April,” Peter tells the crowd to applause.

We’ll be chasing Australian release dates today.

2:24

HTC’s chairwoman is back, talking about HTC going back to its roots.

They’ve been working with scientists in Berkley, California to use the power of HTC phones in a new way. “One phone is powerful, but imagine 100 or a million phones working together!”

2:25

HTC’s Power To Give just got announced. Not sure what it does yet…

2:26

It’s a Shared Processing Initiative. Professor Gianni De Fabritiis is here to talk about it. He’s a computational chemist working in computational biology. He’s been trying to use volunteer computing for many years.

Basically, that means donating one’s computers to one or more other projects. By bringing millions of them together, we can accelerate scientific research.

The partnership with HTC will mean that owners can contribute to volunteer computing. It sounds like everyone will be contributing to solving complex computational power.

2:28

Incredibly expensive computations for simulations of molecules in new drugs and remedies are now being contributed by volunteer computing power from HTC phones. These are the same people who used PlayStation 3’s for high-powered computing.

2:29

Millions of computers will now contribute to this project in the form of HTC Ones.

2:30

Here’s how it works:

You download an app on your HTC, connect to a Wi-Fi network and plug your phone in. You choose the projects you want to contribute to and your phone does one small part of a computation before uploading the result to a server, creating the world’s largest supercomputer network. You can contribute to clean energy initiatives and even SETI extraterrestrial reseach projects. You choose to contribute to particular scientific initiatives.

This. Sounds. Awesome.

2:31

It’s about everyone contributing to the biggest questions science has ever faced. It’s a crowdsourced super-computer. That’s pretty goddamn impressive.

2:35

And that’s a wrap! HTC teases its next product launch, probably for the all-new One on 25 March.

Thanks for joining us! What do you think of the new Desire and the crowdsourced supercomputer?


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