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MWC: Huawei P10 ‘puts studio in your pocket’

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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Now IBM’s Watson joins IoT revolution in agriculture

Global expansion of the Watson Decision Platform taps into AI, weather and IoT data to boost production

IBM has announced the global expansion of Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture, with AI technology tailored for new crops and specific regions to help feed a growing population. For the first time, IBM is providing a global agriculture solution that combines predictive technology with data from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, and IoT data to help give farmers around the world greater insights about planning, ploughing, planting, spraying and harvesting.

By 2050, the world will need to feed two billion more people without an increase in arable land [1]. IBM is combining power weather data – including historical, current and forecast data and weather prediction models from The Weather Company – with crop models to help improve yield forecast accuracy, generate value, and increase both farm production and profitability.

Roric Paulman, owner/operator of Paulman Farms in Southwest Nebraska, said: “As a farmer, the wild card is always weather. IBM overlays weather details with my own data and historical information to help me apply, verify, and make decisions. For example, our farm is in a highly restricted water basin, so the ability to better anticipate rain not only saves me money but also helps me save precious natural resources.”

New crop models include corn, wheat, soy, cotton, sorghum, barley, sugar cane and potato, with more coming soon. These models will now be available in the Africa, U.S. Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as new markets across Europe and Australia.

Kristen Lauria, general manager of Watson Media and Weather Solutions at IBM, said: “These days farmers don’t just farm food, they also cultivate data – from drones flying over fields to smart irrigation systems, and IoT sensors affixed to combines, seeders, sprayers and other equipment. Most of the time, this data is left on the vine — never analysed or used to derive insights. Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture aims to change that by offering tools and solutions to help growers make more informed decisions about their crops.” 

The average farm generates an estimated 500,000 data points per day, which will grow to 4 million data points by 2036 [2]. Applying AI and analysis to aggregated field, machine and environmental data can help improve shared insights between growers and enterprises across the agriculture ecosystem. With a better view of the fields, growers can see what’s working on certain farms and share best practices with other farmers. The platform assesses data in an electronic field record to identify and communicate crop management patterns and insights. Enterprise businesses such as food companies, grain processors, or produce distributors can then work with farmers to leverage those insights. It helps track crop yield as well as the environmental, weather and plant biologic conditions that go into a good or bad yield, such as irrigation management, pest and disease risk analysis and cohort analysis for comparing similar subsets of fields.

The result isn’t just more productive farmers. Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture could help a livestock company eliminate a certain mold or fungus from feed supply grains or help identify the best crop irrigation practices for farmers to use in drought-stricken areas like California. It could help deliver the perfect French fry for a fast food chain that needs longer – not fatter – potatoes from its network of growers. Or it could help a beer distributor produce a more affordable premium beer by growing higher quality barley that meets the standard required to become malting barley.

Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture is built on IBM PAIRS Geoscope from IBM Research, which quickly processes massive, complex geospatial and time-based datasets collected by satellites, drones, aerial flights, millions of IoT sensors and weather models. It crunches large, complex data and creates insights quickly and easily so farmers and food companies can focus on growing crops for global communities.

IBM and The Weather Company help the agriculture industry find value in weather insights. IBM Research collaborates with start up Hello Tractor to integrate The Weather Company data, remote sensing data (e.g., satellite), and IoT data from tractors. IBM also works with crop nutrition leader Yara to include hyperlocal weather forecasts in its digital platform for real-time recommendations, tailored to specific fields or crops. IBM acquired The Weather Company in 2016 and has since been helping clients better understand and mitigate the cost of weather on their businesses. The global expansion of Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture is the latest innovation in IBM’s efforts to make weather a more predictable business consideration. Also just announced, Weather Signals is a new AI-based tool that merges The Weather Company data with a company’s own operations data to reveal how minor fluctuations in weather affects business.

The combination of rich weather forecast data from The Weather Company and IBM’s AI and Cloud technologies is designed to provide a unique capability, which is being leveraged by agriculture, energy and utility companies, airlines, retailers and many others to make informed business decisions.

[1] The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision”

[2] Business Insider Intelligence, 2016 report: https://www.businessinsider.com/internet-of-things-smart-agriculture-2016-10


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What if Amazon used AI to take on factories?

By ANTONY BOURNE, IFS Global Industry Director for Manufacturing

Amazon recently announced record profits of $3.03bn, breaking its own record for the third consecutive time. However, Amazon appears to be at a crossroads as to where it heads next. Beyond pouring additional energy into Amazon Prime, many have wondered whether the company may decide to enter an entirely new sector such as manufacturing to drive future growth, after all, it seems a logical step for the company with its finger in so many pies.

At this point, it is unclear whether Amazon would truly ‘get its hands dirty’ by manufacturing its own products on a grand scale. But what if it did? It’s worth exploring this reality. What if Amazon did decide to move into manufacturing, a sector dominated by traditional firms and one that is yet to see an explosive tech rival enter? After all, many similarly positioned tech giants have stuck to providing data analytics services or consulting to these firms rather than genuinely engaging with and analysing manufacturing techniques directly.

If Amazon did factories

If Amazon decided to take a step into manufacturing, it is likely that they could use the Echo range as a template of what AI can achieve. In recent years,Amazon gained expertise on the way to designing its Echo home speaker range that features Alexa, an artificial intelligence and IoT-based digital assistant.Amazon could replicate a similar form with the deployment of AI and Industrial IoT (IIoT) to create an autonomously-run smart manufacturing plant. Such a plant could feature IIoT sensors to enable the machinery to be run remotely and self-aware; managing external inputs and outputs such as supply deliveries and the shipping of finished goods. Just-in-time logistics would remove the need for warehousing while other machines could be placed in charge of maintenance using AI and remote access. Through this, Amazon could radically reduce the need for human labour and interaction in manufacturing as the use of AI, IIoT and data analytics will leave only the human role for monitoring and strategic evaluation. Amazon has been using autonomous robots in their logistics and distribution centres since 2017. As demonstrated with the Echo range, this technology is available now, with the full capabilities of Blockchain and 5G soon to be realised and allowing an exponentially-increased amount of data to be received, processed and communicated.

Manufacturing with knowledge

Theorising what Amazon’s manufacturing debut would look like provides a stark learning opportunity for traditional manufacturers. After all, wheneverAmazon has entered the fray in other traditional industries such as retail and logistics, the sector has never remained the same again. The key takeaway for manufacturers is that now is the time to start leveraging the sort of technologies and approaches to data management that Amazon is already doing in its current operations. When thinking about how to implement AI and new technologies in existing environments, specific end-business goals and targets must be considered, or else the end result will fail to live up to the most optimistic of expectations. As with any target and goal, the more targeted your objectives, the more competitive and transformative your results. Once specific targets and deliverables have been considered, the resources and methods of implementation must also be considered. As Amazon did with early automation of their distribution and logistics centres, manufacturers need to implement change gradually and be focused on achieving small and incremental results that will generate wider momentum and the appetite to lead more expansive changes.

In implementing newer technologies, manufacturers need to bear in mind two fundamental aspects of implementation: software and hardware solutions. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, which is increasingly bolstered by AI, will enable manufacturers to leverage the data from connected IoT devices, sensors, and automated systems from the factory floor and the wider business. ERP software will be the key to making strategic decisions and executing routine operational tasks more efficiently. This will allow manufacturers to keep on top of trends and deliver real-time forecasting and spot any potential problems before they impact the wider business.

As for the hardware, stock management drones and sensor-embedded hardware will be the eyes through which manufacturers view the impact emerging technologies bring to their operations. Unlike manual stock audits and counting, drones with AI capabilities can monitor stock intelligently around production so that operations are not disrupted or halted. Manufacturers will be able to see what is working, what is going wrong, and where there is potential for further improvement and change.

Knowledge for manufacturing

For many traditional manufacturers, they may see Amazon as a looming threat, and smart-factory technologies such as AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a far off utopia. However, 2019 presents a perfect opportunity for manufacturers themselves to really determine how the tech giants and emerging technologies will affect the industry. Technologies such as AI and IoT are available today; and the full benefits of these technologies will only deepen as they are implemented alongside the maturing of other emerging technologies such as 5G and Blockchain in the next 3-5 years. Manufacturers need to analyse the needs which these technologies can address and produce a proper plan on how to gradually implement these technologies to address specific targets and deliverables. AI-based software and hardware solutions will fundamentally revolutionise manufacturing, yet for 2019, manufacturers just have to be willing to make the first steps in modernisation.

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