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MWC: Huawei P10 ‘puts studio in your pocket’

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, Huawei launched its new flagship smartphones, the P10 and P10+, with the promise to “make every shot a cover shot”.

Huawei launched two new flagship smartphones during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday. The Huawei Consumer Business Group announced the P10 and P10+, co-engineered with Leica, promising to “bring professional studio-like effects to enhance your portrait photography”, and claiming these to be the most advanced photography smartphones available.

For the first time in a smartphone, Huawei P10 and P10+ feature a Leica front camera, to complement their Leica Dual rear camera. By utilising the world’s most advanced photographic technology to create modern artistic portraits in Leica’s signature image style, Huawei says “the P10 and P10+ put all the tools of an artistic studio in your pocket”. With features including studio-like re-lighting and 3D facial detection technology, it says, users are able to produce beautiful photography results in any environment.

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Huawei provided the following information:

The new front camera allows anyone to capture perfect portrait photography in Leica image style whilst the rear camera captures facial features with incredible detail, bringing your photos vividly to life. Whichever way your lens is pointed you will be able to make every shot a cover shot, and professional lighting effects make your subject stand out, whatever the conditions. Huawei’s Hybrid Zoom, is an additional feature that allows users to focus in on specific areas of an image while still keeping the sharpness of image quality.

Further, through a special partnership with Pantone Color Institute, the world’s pre-eminent thought leader on colour, the devices are introduced in the latest on-trend colours, optimised for the phone’s Hyper Diamond-Cut finish.

As well as redefining portrait photography through the latest photographic technologies, the P10 and P10+ set a new standard in colour and design. Co-created with Pantone Color Institute, the devices launch in two specially selected Pantone colours: Pantone Greenery*, the official Pantone Colour of the Year 2017, and a captivating deep blue shade which Huawei is offering as Dazzling Blue. By combining Huawei’s advanced industry design expertise and leading metal craftsmanship with the trusted colour thought leadership and direction of Pantone Color Institute, the P10 and P10+ embody the personalities of the contemporary consumer.

The result of hours of careful craftsmanship and cross-collaboration between Huawei and Pantone Color Institute, both colourways have been specially optimised for the surface and texture of the P10 and P10+ to deliver smartphones that are as beautiful to look at as they are to use. Greenery delivers a clean and stylish sandblast finish, whilst the unique Hyper Diamond-Cut in Dazzling Blue is brought to life through a stunning glow effect. To complement these unique colourways, the P10 and P10+ are also available in a selection of striking colours including Ceramic White, Dazzling Gold, Prestige Gold, Graphite Black, Rose Gold and Mystic Silver.

As part of the Huawei P series, the P10 and P10+ feature an ultra slim, minimalistic form with rounded curves. The high-quality design extends to its high-performance functions which include super-fast charging, thanks to Huawei’s proprietary SuperCharge technology, an operating system that will always stay just as fast as they day you purchased it and superior connectivity that ensures wherever you are you’ll stay connected.

Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer Business Group, said: “With Huawei P10 and P10+ we have created a smartphone that revolutionises and redefines portrait photography. Thanks to the evolution of our partnership with Leica Camera users now have an incredible Leica front camera on their Huawei device in addition to the rear. To match this innovation inside, Huawei’s partnership with Pantone Color Institute ensures that the devices are equally as beautiful on the outside. The Huawei P10 and P10+ are smartphones that are as fashionable as they are functional.”

Laurie Pressman, VP of Pantone Color Institute added: “With consumers increasingly comfortable using colour as a form of expression, we are seeing more experimentation and creative uses of colour. Colour is truly a medium through which individuals can express themselves to the world around them. Huawei recognises this evolving consumer dynamic and through our partnership we’re looking forward to providing Huawei customers with the ability to make a bold colour statement.”

Huawei has harnessed its relationship with Saatchi Gallery and Leica Camera to redefine portrait photography. Seven renowned photographers recommended by these iconic institutions have created a collection of stunning, artistic works using the Huawei P10 smartphone. Focusing attention on the evolution of portraiture, the photographers have created their own interpretation of portrait photography, using the handset.

Oliver Kaltner, CEO Leica Camera said: “Our partnership with Huawei allows us to demonstrate to millions of customers that amazing and professional imagery can be achieved on a smartphone and that our expertise in lenses and optics can help them achieve fantastic portraits. Huawei P10 and P10+ give users all the tools of an artistic portrait studio in their pocket, allowing them to achieve stunning results every time they take a shot.”

These artists’ work debuted for the first time at a special pop-up exhibition in Barcelona, from 26 February – 28 February 2017. And selected works will be included in the ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’ exhibition at Saatchi Gallery London from 30 March.

Huawei has also partnered with Chinese designer Ricostru to develop a new aesthetic for a new collection of P10 and P10+ accessories. The collection features the mini smartphone bag; the perfect partner for the new devices. Small but stylish, the bag fuses retro and oriental elements throughout weaving textures and a sculpted architectural aesthetic. To ensure that your new Huawei smartphone never runs out of power in the most fashionable way possible, Ricostru also introduces a unique, fashionable bracelet that can quickly transform from a chic braided band, into a mobile phone charging cable.

Huawei P10 key Portraiture Features:

  • 3D Facial Detection An all-new intelligent facial detection system features over 190 detailed identification nodes for accurate recognition for perfect selfies.
  • Leica Dual-Camera 2.0: The Leica Dual-Camera 2.0 on the P10 features a 12MP RGB + 20MP monochrome sensor that captures detailed facial features. The 2.0 Pro Edition carries SUMMILUX-H Leica lenses, with a larger F/1.8 aperture to capture more light in low-light situations
  • Hybrid Zoom: An additional new feature that allows users to focus in on specific areas of an image while still keeping the sharpness of image quality
  • Embedded ISP: The Kirin 960 with embedded ISP enables real-time viewing of depth-of-field changes and facial features.
  • Studio-like Portrait Enhancements: The artistic imaging algorithm in the Huawei P10 and P10+ is based on the extensive research of various different face shapes and skin colors. By understanding the relative position of each facial feature and the uniqueness of skin type, the portrait enhancements can be applied in a customized and more natural way.
  • Dynamic Illumination: Huawei P10 and P10+ include an auto-sensing algorithm that tracks environment lighting changes and automatically adjusts the shooting configuration, including the AWB, shutter speed and more
  • Front Camera Sensor: All-new front camera sensor that captures more light to improve picture quality in low-light conditions.

The Huawei P10 and P10+ are available in Europe and China from March, 2017, followed shortly after by Asia, Latin America, South Africa and Russia in April, 2017. Priced at: P10 €649, P10+ (64GB + 4GB) €699, P10+ (128GB + 6GB) €799.

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Gadget goes to Hollywood

Gadget visited the Netflix studios last week. In the first of a series, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK talks to CEO Reed Hastings.

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is no stranger to Africa. He has travelled throughout South Africa, taught maths in Swaziland for two years with the Peace Corps, and visits close family in Maputo. As a result, he is keenly aware of the South African entertainment and connectivity landscape.

In an exclusive interview at the Netflix studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, last week, he revealed that Netflix had no intentions of challenging MultiChoice’s dominance of live sports broadcasting on the continent.

“Other firms will do sport and news; we are trying to focus on movies and TV shows,” he said. “There are a lot of areas that are video that we are not doing: sports, news, video gaming, user-generated content. We don’t have live sport.

Reed Hastings at the Netflix studios in Hollywood last week. Pic: ADAM ROSE

“We’re not replacing MultiChoice at all. Their subscriber growth is steady in South Africa. They serve a need that’s independent of the Internet, via low-price satellite. There is no intention of capturing that audience. If they’re growing, it’s because they serve a need.”

While Reed ruled out any collaboration with MultiChoice on its satellite delivery platform, despite its collaboration with another pay-TV service, Sky TV in the United Kingdom, he did not close the door. He stressed that Netflix saw itself as an Internet-based service, and would pursue the opportunities offered by evolving broadband in Africa.

“If you look in other markets like the USA, how Comcast carries us on set-top boxes with their other services, it could happen with MultiChoice, the same as with all the pay-TV providers.

“We’re really focused on being a service over the Internet and not over satellite. Our service doesn’t work on satellite. Where we work with Sky is on Internet-connected devices. We’re happy to work on Internet-connected devices. We tend to work on smart TVs, but need broadband Internet for that.

“Broadband is getting faster in Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa – we can see the positive trendlines – so it’s more likely we will work with broadband Internet companies.”

Hastings is a firm believer in the idea that one content provider’s success does not depend on pushing another down.

“HBO has grown at the same time as we have, so can see our success doesn’t determine their success. What matters is amazing content with which the world falls in love.”

Click here to read about Netflix’s international expansion, and how the streaming service selects content for its platform.

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Take these 5 steps to digital

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By MARK WALKER, Associate Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

Digital transformation isn’t a buzz word because it sounds nice and looks good on the business CV. It is fundamental to long-term business success. IDC anticipates that 75% of enterprises will be on the path to digital transformation by 2027. 

However, digital transformation is not a process that ticks a box and moves to the next item on the agenda – it is defined by the organisation’s shift towards a digitally empowered infrastructure and employee. It is an evolution across system, infrastructure, process, individual and leadership and should follow clear pathways to ensure sustainable success.

The nature of the enterprise has changed completely with the influence of digital, cloud and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), and success is reliant on strategic change.

There is a lot more ownership and transparency throughout the organisation and there is a responsibility that comes with that – employees want access to information, there has to be speed in knowledge, transactions and engagement,” he adds. “To ensure that the organisation evolves alongside digital and demand, it has to follow five very clear pathways to long-term, achievable success.

The first of these is to evaluate where the enterprise sits right now in terms of its digital journey. This will differ by organisation size and industry, as well as its reliance on technology. A smaller organisation that only needs a basic accounting function or the internet for email will have far different considerations to a small organisation that requires high-end technology to manage hedge funds or drive cloud solutions. The same comparisons apply to the enterprise-level organisation. The mining sector will have a completely different sub-set of technology requirements and infrastructure limitations to the retail or finance sectors.

Ultimately, every organisation, regardless of size or industry, is reliant on technology to grow or deliver customer service, but their digital transformation requirements are different. To ensure that investment into artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, knowledge engines, automation and connectivity are accurately placed within the business and know exactly where the business is going.

The second step is to examine what the business wants to achieve. Again, the goals of the organisation over the long and short term will be entirely sector dependent, but it is essential that it examine what the competitive environment looks like and what influences customer expectations. This understanding will allow for the business to hone its digital requirements accordingly.

The third step is to match expectations to reality. You need to see how you can move your digital transformation strategy forward and what areas require prioritisation, what funding models will support your digital aspirations, and how this tie into what the market wants. Ultimately, every step of the process has to be prioritised to ensure it maps back to where you are and the strategic steps that will take you to where you want to go.

The fourth step is to look at the operational side of the process. This is as critical as any other aspect of the transformation strategy as it maps budget to skills to infrastructure in such a way as to ensure that any project delivers return on investment. Budget and funding are always top of mind when it comes to digital transformation – these are understandably key issues for the business. How will it benefit from the investment? How will it influence the customer experience? What impact will this have on the ongoing bottom line? These questions tie neatly into the fifth step in the process – the feedback loop.

This is often the forgotten step, but it is the most important. The feedback loop is critical to ensuring that the digital transformation process is achieving the right results, that the right metrics are in place, and that the needle is moving in the right direction. It is within this feedback loop that the organisation can consistently refine the process to ensure that it moves to each successive step with the right metrics in place.

There is also one final element that every organisation should have in place throughout its digital evolution. An element that many overlook – engagement. There must be a real desire to change, from the top of the organisation right down to the bottom, and an understanding of what it means to undertake this change and why it is essential. This is why this will be a key discussion at the 2019 IDC South Africa CIO Summit taking place in April this year. With this in place, the five steps to digital transformation will make sense and deliver the right results.

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