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IFA 2015: Huawei friends Mate S

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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.

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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