Connect with us

Featured

IFA 2015: Huawei friends Mate S

Published

on

Huawei has unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Mate S, which introduces a raft of innovations the company hopes will cement its No. 3 ranking in global phone sales.

At a media event preceding the IFA 2015 expo in Berlin this week, Huawei announced the Mate S, a luxury-focused device packed with innovative technology. Key features of the new phone include a floating 2.5D screen, a pressure sensitive touch system and a new battery technology to give maximum usage from a single charge. This is in addition to enhancements to the camera, the fingerprint reader and the touch controls introduced in previous models.

“Our goal in designing the Huawei Mate S was to develop a smartphone that offers a personalised experience, rather than a commoditised one,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG. “The Huawei Mate S is based on insights we gathered about human interaction – most notably that touch is a natural action we take to understand our world. The Huawei Mate S redefines how we incorporate touch technology into our smartphones, breaking through the conventional way of touch screen control and ushering in new imagination for human-machine interaction.”

Huawei Mate S_Colors

The Mate S’ touch screen control technology uses an unconventional design to strike a balance between the phone’s capabilities and its visual appearance.

Building on the revolutionary Huawei Mate 7 smartphone, the Mate S features a 5.5 inch 2.5D AMOLED screen that is 7.2 millimeters thick at the centre but with a width on the edges of just 2.65 millimeters. The arched back cover is designed to fit into the palm of a hand, making the phone less likely to be dropped.

Touch is at the heart of the Huawei Mate S, creating an enhanced experience for users that simplifies their interaction with the device,” the company said in a product announcement. It also provided the following details on the device:

When viewing photos, they can be quickly previewed and enlarged by pressing the screen with one finger, streamlining the operations of a traditional phone.  The Mate S can also be used as a scale to weigh objects.

The phone is equipped with Fingerprint 2.0, an upgraded version of the advanced chip level security and one-key unlock technology pioneered in the Mate 7. Fingerprint 2.0 halves recognition speeds, with more accurate self-learning functions. It can also be used to control the notification bar, erase unread notifications, preview pictures, and hold and take phone calls. All of these options improve the one hand operation of the phone.

Fingerprint 2.0 and Knuckle Control 2.0 – technology first introduced in the Huawei P8 – simplifies how users switch between app operations and take screenshots. The feature offers users a new way to interact with their phone: drawing a “C” with their knuckle activates a camera, while double-clicking the screen with a knuckle records the screen in the form of a video.  With these options, every type of touch provides an opportunity to be innovative.

Camera for beginners and professionals

The Mate S is equipped with a camera that considers users’ needs in everyday life as well as professional camera setting. The 13-megapixel rear camera features an advanced sensor with optical image stabilisation, dual color-temp LED flash lights, and independent image signal processor camera units, all of which combine to capture higher quality pictures faster. The Mate S takes camera capabilities one-step further by offering an 8-megapixel front camera with soft, front lights to improve selfies.

The professional camera mode allows for manual adjustment of ISO, exposure compensation, exposure time, white balance and focusing, and functions such as the grid, and flash-assisted focusing.

The Mate S takes regular recording functions to the next level by leveraging three microphones to support a smart direction algorithm. The Mate S’ beam-forming algorithm allows all three mics to focus on the sounds coming from where the phone is facing, enabling a clear recording with minimal background noises.

For consumers on the go, the Mate S also supports Mopria printing general protocol, which includes 700 printer types across 29 leading brands.

Availability 

The Mate S will be initially available in more than 30 countries including China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Spain, South Africa and UAE. Exact South African availability and pricing will be announced at a later date.

Featured

Smart home arrives in SA

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

Published

on

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.

Previous Page1 of 2

Continue Reading

Featured

Matrics must prepare for AI

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 World Wide Worx