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Huawei opens mobile AI door

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Huawei this week introduced new smartphones with the world’s first Kirin AI processor, which it says will deliver a faster, more customised mobile experience.

At an event in Munich yesterday, Huawei unveiled the new Mate 10 Series, which it says will open the door to new AI mobile applications.

The Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, and Porsche Design Mate 10 are described as breakthrough AI devices that combine innovative hardware, the Kirin 970 chipset and EMUI 8.0.

The launch is a sequel to the announcement at IFA Berlin by Huawei Consumer Business Group of its first AI mobile chipset, the Kirin 970.

“As we enter the age of intelligence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that intertwines with our daily life,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group. “AI can enhance user experience, provide valuable services and improve product performance The Huawei Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI-specific Neural Network Processing Unit, launching a new era of intelligent smartphones.”

South Africa will be among the first to have the Mate Series smartphone in country.

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“We are delighted to bring the Mate 10 Pro and the Porsche Design Mate 10 to South Africa as we believe these smartphones will cater for the South African consumer needs as we enter the age of AI,” said Likun Zhao, GM, Huawei Consumer Business Group SA.

“Consumers will be able to pre-order their devices online after our local launch on 6 November 2017.”

This is the first time a Mate Series phone has been released in South Africa within a month of its global launch.

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Huawei provided the following information:

Key features include:

  • Kirin 970, the world’s first AI processor for smartphones with a dedicated Neural Network Processing Unit (NPU);
  • A 3D Glass Body featuring a barely-there-bezel, Huawei FullView Display and HDR10 supported technology for intensely vivid and brighter colors;
  • TÜV Fast-Charge Safety Certified Huawei SuperCharge and 4000 mAh battery with AI-powered Battery Management;
  • New Leica Dual Camera with SUMMILUX-H lenses, with both featuring  an aperture of f/1.6, and intelligent photography including AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and AI-powered Bokeh Effect;
  • An all-new, simplified EMUI 8.0 based on Android 8.0.

The Huawei Mate 10 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro are the first devices powered by the new Kirin 970 processor and deliver AI enhancements for a faster, more customized mobile experience. The Kirin 970 is built using an advanced TSMC 10nm semiconductor manufacturing process, and features an octa-core ARM Cortex CPU, a first-to-market Mali G72 12-core GPU and the first NPU designed specifically for a mobile device. The Kirin 970 also has a new dual ISP for AI-powered intelligent photography.

The specialized NPU, combined with Huawei’s innovative HiAI mobile computing platform, means the Kirin 970 delivers 25x better performance and 50x greater energy efficiency for AI-related tasks, compared to four Cortex-A73 cores. The Huawei Mate 10 Series is also the world’s fastest smartphone supporting super-fast LTE connectivity and download speeds. The device comes with the world’s first dual 4G SIM support and dual VoLTE connections.

By combining individual and collective intelligence for on-device AI, the new Huawei Mate Series delivers real-time responses to users, including AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and an AI Accelerated Translator. Kirin 970 is an open, mobile AI computing platform for third parties to create new and imaginative AI applications and which extends Huawei’s processing capabilities to the entire value chain.

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Design Qualities for New Levels of Sophistication and Comfort

With an all-new Huawei FullView Display, the Huawei Mate 10 features a stunning 5.9-inch screen with a 16:9 display, barely-there-bezel and HDR10 to support vivid colors. The 6-inch Huawei Mate 10 Pro features an 18:9 OLED display, high screen-to-body ratio and HDR10 for dynamic video viewing.

The iconic devices feature a 3D Glass Body, beautifully and symmetrically curved on all four sides for an ergonomic hold. The back of the devices feature a reflective band design to highlight the New Leica Dual Camera.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is also IP67 Water and Dust Resistant.

New Leica Dual Camera

Huawei has again partnered with Leica to co-engineer the dual lens camera for the Huawei Mate 10 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. They combine 12-megapixel RGB + 20-megapixel monochrome sensors, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), dual lenses with the world’s largest aperture of f/1.6, AI-powered Bokeh Effect and AI-powered Digital Zoom. New AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition, which automatically chooses camera settings based on the object and scene, supports an advanced AI-powered Digital Zoom function with AI Motion Detection for clearer and sharper pictures.

The Huawei Mate 10 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro pack a 4000 mAh high-density battery featuring a smart battery management system that understands user behaviour and intelligently allocates resources to maximize battery life. It supports 4.5V / 5A low-voltage fast charging, powering the device from 1 percent to 20 percent in 10 minutes, and 1 percent to 58 percent in 30 minutes. Additionally, Huawei SuperCharge is the world’s first fast charging technology to receive TÜV Fast-Charge Safety Certification, ensuring safe end-to-end charging.

The Huawei Mate 10 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro will launch with Huawei’s all-new EMUI 8.0 powered by Android 8.0. Features include an AI Engine to fully leverage the capabilities of the Kirin 970; an AI Accelerated translator to deliver faster and more accurate interactive translation for a smoother communication experience; an easy projection feature to connect the new Huawei Mate Series to a larger screen; support for a full desktop experience – either mirroring or extending the smartphone display like a PC.

New Accessories

Huawei also launched three Huawei Mate 10 accessories: the EnVizion 360 Camera, SuperCharge Power Bank, and Smart Scale.

  • The EnVizion 360 Camera can shoot 5K photos and 360-degree 2K videos with multiple viewing modes for users to share across their social media channels.
  • Huawei’s SuperCharge™ Power Bank supports a 4.5V / 5A low-voltage fast charge.
  • The Smart Scale can monitor and analyze health information such as body fat percentage and Body Mass Index through a mobile app.

* For more information, please visit: http://consumer.Huawei.com/en/  

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Opera launches built-in VPN on Android browser

Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, which features a built-in virtual private network service.

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Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, Opera for Android 51, which features a built-in VPN (virtual private network) service.

A VPN allows users to create a secure connection to a public network, and is particularly useful if users are unsure of the security levels of the public networks that they use often.

The new VPN in Opera for Android 51 is free, unlimited and easy to use. When enabled, it gives users greater control of their online privacy and improves online security, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops, airports and hotels. The VPN will encrypt Internet traffic into and out of their mobile devices, which reduces the risk of malicious third parties collecting sensitive information.

“There are already more than 650 million people using VPN services globally. With Opera, any Android user can now enjoy a free and no-log service that enhances online privacy and improves security,” said Peter Wallman, SVP Opera Browser for Android.

When users enable the VPN included in Opera for Android 51, they create a private and encrypted connection between their mobile device and a remote VPN server, using strong 256-bit encryption algorithms. When enabled, the VPN hides the user’s physical location, making it difficult to track their activities on the internet.

The browser VPN service is also a no-log service, which means that the VPN servers do not log and retain any activity data, all to protect users privacy.

“Users are exposed to so many security risks when they connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without a VPN,” said Wallman. “Enabling Opera VPN means that users makes it difficult for third parties to steal information, and users can avoid being tracked. Users no longer need to question if or how they can protect their personal information in these situations.”

According to a report by the Global World Index in 2018, the use of VPNs on mobile devices is rising. More than 42 percent of VPN users on mobile devices use VPN on a daily basis, and 35 percent of VPN users on computers use VPN daily.

The report also shows that South African VPN users said that their main reason for using a VPN service is to remain anonymous while they are online.

“Young people in particular are concerned about their online privacy as they increasingly live their lives online,” said Wallman. “Opera for Android 51 makes it easy to benefit from the security and anonymity of VPN , especially for those may not be aware of how to set these up.”

Setting up the Opera VPN is simple. Users just tap on the browser settings, go to VPN and enable the feature according to their preference. They can also select the region of their choice.

The built-in VPN is free, which means that users don’t need to download additional apps on their smartphones or pay additional fees as they would for other private VPN services. With no sign-in process, users don’t need to log in every time they want to use it.

Opera for Android is available for download in Google Play. The rollout of the new version of Opera for Android 51 will be done gradually per region.

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Future of the car is here

Three new cars, with vastly different price-tags, reveal the arrival of the future of wheels, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Just a few months ago, it was easy to argue that the car of the future was still a long way off, at least in South Africa. But a series of recent car launches have brought the high-tech vehicle to the fore in startling ways.

The Jaguar i-Pace electric vehicle (EV), BMW 330i and the Datsun Go have little in common, aside from representing an almost complete spectrum of car prices on the local market. Their tags start, respectively, at R1.7-million, R650 000 and R150 000.

Such a widely disparate trio of vehicles do not exactly come together to point to the future. Rather, they represent different futures for different segments of the market. But they also reveal what we can expect to become standard in most vehicles produced in the 2020s.

Jaguar i-Pace

The i-Pace may be out of reach of most South Africans, but it ushers in two advances that will resonate throughout the EV market as it welcomes new and more affordable cars. It is the first electric vehicle in South Africa to beat the bugbear of range anxiety.

Unlike the pioneering “old” Nissan Leaf, which had a range of up to about 150km, and did not lend itself to long distance travel, the i-Pace has a 470km range, bringing it within shouting distance of fuel-powered vehicles. A trip from Johannesburg to Durban, for example, would need just one recharge along the way.

And that brings in the other major advance: the i-Pace is the first EV launched in South Africa together with a rapid public charging network on major routes. It also comes with a home charging kit, which means the end of filling up at petrol stations.

The Jaguar i-Pace dispels one further myth about EVs: that they don’t have much power under the hood. A test drive around Gauteng revealed not only a gutsy engine, but acceleration on a par with anything in its class, and enough horsepower to enhance the safety of almost any overtaking situation.

Specs for the Jaguar i-Pace include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Twin motors with a combined 294kW and 696Nm
  • 0-100km/h in 4.8s
  • 90kWh Lithium-ion battery, delivering up to 470km range
  • Eight-year/160 000km battery warranty
  • Two-year/34 000km service intervals

Click here to read about BMW’s self-driving technology, and how Datsun makes smart technology affordable.

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