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Huawei triples up cameras

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Huawei Consumer Business Group has unveiled the P20 and P20 Pro smartphones. The P20 is the world’s first phone to feature a Leica triple camera and both devices include AI advances.

Huawei Consumer Business Group has unveiled the P20 and P20 Pro, with the latter featuring the world’s first Leica triple camera and both devices including AI advances.

“We look for inspiration from artists to continuously evolve our approach to design and innovation,” said Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “With a breakthrough triple camera on the Huawei P20 Pro, an advanced dual camera on the Huawei P20 and powerful artificial intelligence on both, today’s most vibrant consumers can capture and share the brilliance of the world around them.”

Huawei provided the following information:

Key features of the Huawei P20 Series include:

  • An advanced camera to capture more light, featuring a Leica triple camera and 5x Hybrid Zoom on the Huawei P20 Pro, and a Leica dual camera on the Huawei P20, both achieving DxOMark’s highest overall scores1;
  • Innovative photography features, including AI-powered professional photography features and Huawei AIS (AI Image Stabilization);
  • A timeless design with barely-there bezels and all-new gradient colours;
  • Ultimate performance, featuring the NPU on Kirin 970 and EMUI 8.1 based on Android™ 8.1.

A Combination of Art and Technology

The Huawei P20 Series comes in Black, Midnight Blue and two all-new gradient colours, Twilight and Pink Gold, achieved by applying several layers of NCVM* optical coatings underneath the glass back, so light hitting the surface refracts and creates a vivid, yet gradual change of hue.

The 5.8-inch screen Huawei P20 and 6.1-inch screen Huawei P20 Pro feature Huawei FullView Display, ultra-thin bezels and impressive screen-to-body ratios for better viewing experiences.

Inspired by Light and Technology

The Huawei P20 Pro features a Leica triple camera with the highest total pixel count on a smartphone – the camera configuration is comprised of a 40MP RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor and an 8MP sensor with telephoto lens. It also features an exclusive Leica colour temperature sensor for better colour reproduction. With f/1.8, f/1.6 and f/2.4 wide aperture to capture crisp, clear details, the Huawei P20 Pro also includes a brand new Leica 3x telephoto (VARIO-SUMMILUX-H 1:1.6-2.4/27-80ASPH) lens for long-range photography of up to 5x Hybrid Zoom. The Huawei P20 Pro’s highly sensitive image sensor captures low light photos with up to ISO 102400.

The Huawei P20 builds on its predecessor’s foundation with a Leica dual camera featuring a 12MP sensor with a pixel size as high as 1.55 μm, and a 20MP monochrome sensor, enhancing the Huawei P20’s ability to capture photos in low-light settings.

The Huawei P20 Series devices support six-axis stabilization and 960fps super slow motion. With Ultra Snapshot mode, the devices can capture an image in as little as 0.3 seconds by just double clicking the down volume button, even from an off screen.

Master AI Photography Experience

With the Kirin 970 processor, the Huawei P20 Series automatically identifies more than 500 scenarios in 19 categories, selecting camera settings to deliver professional-looking images. Huawei AIS steadies handheld night shots for incredible long exposure images without a tripod. Brand new to Huawei’s advanced camera system is 4D predictive focus, predicting moving objects and focusing on them with extreme efficiency to capture minute detail. The Huawei P20 Series also features AI-Assisted Composition, providing intelligent suggestions to frame group shots and landscapes.

The Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro feature a 24MP selfie camera** with AI beautification and 3D portrait lighting. The Huawei P20 Series also includes on-device Prisma processing, which supports real-time filter recommendations based on scene and object recognition.

In partnership with Google, the Huawei P20 Series supports Google ARCore, delivering advanced AR capabilities.

Collaboration with Porsche Design

Huawei also unveiled the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS. Continuing its collaboration with the exclusive luxury brand, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS features Porsche Design’s signature functional design language and Huawei’s cutting-edge technology and craftsmanship, setting a new standard in premium smartphones.

Pricing and Availability

The Huawei P20 Series and Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS are immediately available globally.

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Smart home arrives in SA

The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.

The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.

The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.

The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.

The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.

My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.

Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.

Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?

These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.

Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.

Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.

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Matrics must prepare for AI

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students writing a test

By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.

Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.

With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.

Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.

Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist. 

So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?

For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.

In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.

This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.

In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.

As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.

This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.

The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.

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