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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

The Mate 20 Pro is also the world’s first smartphone to support the 4.5G LTE Cat. 21 standard, allowing download speeds of up to 1.4Gbps. It also supports dual-band (L1+L5) GPS positioning technology, while an AI GPS Satellite Selection technology enhances the positioning accuracy across a wide range of scenarios.

The Mate 20 Pro houses a large, high-density 4200mAh battery, and supports 40W HUAWEI SuperCharge, which gives the device 70 percent charge in 30 minutes. The safety of the technology is certified by TÜV Rheinland.

The device also supports Wireless Reverse Charge, which enables the device to work as a power bank for selected electronic devices supporting wireless charging.

The Mate 20 X supports an ultra-large 5000mAh battery, and is equipped with a cooling system that uses a combination of graphene film and vapour chamber to deliver higher cooling performance.

The P20 Series’ camera system uses a 16mm Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens, which Huawei says creates a sense of spaciousness and a three dimensional effect in images. It also supports macro distance, which produces crisp images of objects that are placed as close as 2.5cm from the lens. It is equipped with a 40MP main camera, a 20MP ultra wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera. Together, the trio of lenses supports a wide range of focal lengths, which Huawei says is equivalent to the performance of a 16-270mm zoom lens.

An AI Portrait Color video mode can isolate human subjects and desaturate the colours around them to highlight the person. AI Spotlight Reel identifies clips with a shared theme and auto-generates a montage, made of highlights.

The Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 RS both support 3D Face Unlock. The solution authenticates users within 0.6 seconds at a false acceptance rate measured at below 1/1,000,000. A 3D Depth Sensing Camera System located at the front reads the facial features of a subject and recognises even small details. Besides user authentication, this suite of sensors also enables portrait beautification effects to be realised in a more natural and effective way.

The EMUI 9.0 Android skin incorporates new gesture navigation support  to allow users to interact with their devices using taps and swipes. It also introduces new AI features that enable it to perform or enhance a range of tasks from object identification to food calorie counting. Using 3D Live Object Modeling, consumers can also create a fun digital avatar to dance or interact with.

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Two-thirds of adults ready for cars that drive themselves

The latest Looking Further with Ford Trends Report reveals that behaviour is changing across key areas of our lives

Self-driving cars are a hot topic today, but if you had to choose, would you rather your children ride in an autonomous vehicle or drive with a stranger? You may be surprised to learn that 67 per cent of adults globally would opt for the self-driving car.

That insight is one of many revealed in the 2019 Looking Further with Ford Trend Report, released last week. The report takes a deep look into the drivers of behavioural change, specifically uncovering the dynamic relationships consumers have with the shifting landscape of technology.

Change is not always easy, particularly when it is driven by forces beyond our control. In a global survey of 14 countries, Ford’s research revealed that 87 per cent of adults believe technology is the biggest driver of change. And while 79 per cent of adults maintain that technology is a force for good, there are large segments of the population that have significant concerns. Some are afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). Others fear the impact of technology on our emotional wellbeing.

“Individually and collectively, these behavioural changes can take us from feeling helpless to feeling empowered, and unleash a world of wonder, hope and progress,” says Kuda Takura, smart mobility specialist at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “At Ford we are deeply focused on human-centric design and are committed to finding mobility solutions that help improve the lives of consumers and their communities. In the context of change, we have to protect what we consider most valuable – having a trusted relationship with our customers. So, we are always deliberate and thoughtful about how we navigate change.”

Key insights from Ford’s 7th annual Trends Report:

Almost half of people around the world believe that fear drives change
Seven in 10 say that they are energised by change
87 per cent agree that technology is the biggest driver of today’s change
Eight in 10 citizens believe that technology is a force for good
45 per cent of adults globally report that they envy people who can disconnect from their devices
Seven out of 10 consumers agree that we should have a mandatory time-out from our devices

Click here to read more about the seven trends for 2019.

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Encounters festival to screen year’s hottest documentaries

The 21st Encounters South African International Documentary Festival has secured the rights to screen 2019’s most acclaimed documentaries.

Fresh from the world’s leading festivals, the documentaries put viewers in places as diverse as the front row of high-fashion’s runways to eavesdropping on an international racist conspiracy with South African ties, from a tribute to Pan-Africanism via Fela Kuti to Afrika Bambaataa’s search for his roots in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The opening night film, coming just weeks after its World Premiere in Competition at Hot Docs, Toronto’s holy grail of documentary film festivals, will be “Buddha In Africa”. Made by South African director Nicole Schafer, it receives its’ joint South African premiere at Encounters and the 40th Durban International Film Festival.

This delicately observed documentary is about a Malawian teenager in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, who finds himself torn between his African roots and Chinese upbringing. The film focuses on Enock, a young teenager caught between his traditional culture, his dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li and the strict discipline of Confucianism. Set against the backdrop of China’s growing influence on the African continent this essential film poses complex questions about race, imperialism, faith and culture and offers a subtle exploration of the impact of soft cultural power on the identity and interior life of a young boy and his community.

Director Schafer says: “It’s also about Africa’s relations with other foreign nations, including the former colonisers. It’s this idea that the key to the future of the continent’s development is always held by outsiders, and that in order to succeed, we have to adapt to foreign value systems and policies. I think Enock’s story challenges this idea in very refreshing ways.”

Click here to read about what’s to show at this year’s Encounters festival.

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