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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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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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