The weirdest tech we saw at MWC 2019

Image credit: TechRadar

At MWC 2019 we got our hands on a whole host of exciting new products, from the Huawei Mate X foldable phone to BMW's new virtual driver and many more.

But... then there were the products that you wouldn't see shown off at a massive press launch. Those that were still weird, wacky, and wonderful in their own way, so we decided to bring you a list of some of the more off-beat products and tech that we saw at Barcelona's big phone conference.

Lexon Oblio: a jar that'll charge and clean your phone

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

Wireless charging seems to be slowly growing in popularity, but this offering from Lexon takes losing the wires to the next level.

The Oblio is a jar, and your first instinct might be to put jam or flowers in it, not your phone...but it's a 10W charger that you can drop your handset right into to fill it with power.

If that wasn't novel enough, the Oblio also uses UV light to clean bacteria and germs off your phone when it's charging. 

Lexon claims that in 30 minutes of charging 99.9% of bacteria and germs will be gone from your device – a nice touch if you're someone who frequently uses the phone on the toilet... which seems to be essentially everyone these days.

Xiaomi Robot Builder: build-your-own robot warrior

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

Ever wanted to start your own robot fight club? If so, then Xiaomi has the toy for you, with a robot you build yourself, and control with your phone.

There are several different variations you can buy, retailing at costs around $95 / £70 / AU£135 and with around 1,000 parts each, that you can build like a Lego kit. Then by using an app on your phone, you can define its movements like a remote control toy... but with your own handset.

When we gave our robot friend for a spin we found it intuitive and easy to use, although we were only allowed to patrol it around a small enclosure with no other robot combatants to test it against, so our dreams of one day starting a small bot army might have to wait a little longer.

Oral-B Genius X: artificial intelligence for your toothbrush

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

If you were constantly nagged as a kid to brush your teeth in the right way the, Oral-B Genius X might give you flashbacks. 

The mouth-focused brand has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that analyzes how you brush your teeth and gives you feedback on how to improve – it's like a nagging parent, but they have no body and you're paying for the privilege.

When you brush your teeth with the Genius X it monitors many factors, such as the time of brush and how hard you press on your teeth, and provides feedback for future brushes – connecting to an app to do so. 

Interestingly it doesn't proactively tell you how to brush your teeth as you do so, only providing retrospective advice and tips so you can find your own way of brushing. It can tell you if you need to brush for longer or less time, press softer when you brush,  or if there's anywhere you often miss when you brush.

The aim of this is to help you brush your teeth in a less damaging way, while still getting a good clean. It'll retail for around €200 (roughly $230, £170, AU$320) when it comes out in September.

MyKi Pet: a wearable for your dog (or cat)

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

If you love your fitness band but have always wanted your canine companion or feline friend to have one too, MyKi has you covered with its GPS pet collar.

The collar lets you use GPS, Wi-Fi and cell reception to track your pet in enclosed or outdoor locations, as well as use geo-fencing to tell when they've left a certain area or issue it basic commands. You do need a SIM card to get it to work, but many carriers will bundle the device with one.

This gets interesting as it can tell you where they've been on Google Maps – which has a history feature to track past movements. You can therefore work out how far your pet has travelled each day, and reward them if you're pleased with their progress... or take them for runs if you're not.

It's also a lot smaller and subtler than other pet trackers so doesn't look ugly on your companion, and as it uses its own SIM card it can send updates to your phone even when your pet is far away, unlike competing devices.

Sadly there were no cats or dogs available at MWC to model the MyKi Pet for us, but it still seems like a great device if you've got a fat cat or pudgy puppy you want to get in to shape (or just locate when they get lost).

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.