A few years ago, the average consumer would have two to three devices – cellphone, tablet and laptop – that they would rely on daily for different aspects of their personal and professional lives. The cellphone was for keeping in touch on calls and messages and taking photos; the tablet was for browsing the net and interacting via social media; and the laptop was for work tasks and long-distance communication like Skype. If a consumer was also interested in gaming, then they would need yet another device to indulge in that pastime.
As smartphones have evolved, however, all of these functions are slowly being integrated. This device has become even more indispensable, and we rely on it to perform multiple tasks that previously were split between different devices. The last decade of smartphone development has brought significant improvements such as advanced technologies, faster internet connectivity, larger displays, more powerful computing, longer battery life and better photography. After 10 years of rapid change, smartphones are starting to move from being functional to intelligent phones. Why would you need other devices if the smartphone in your pocket or handbag can assimilate all the different requirements of your everyday life?
Artificial intelligence looks to move us even more in that direction as cellphones become more intuitive and more powerful. Over the past 10 years, the linear computing of smartphones (“left brain computing”) has been continuously improved. The “right brain computing,” rooted in AI, which makes smartphone experiences more interesting, thoughtful and intelligent, is set to radically change the way smartphones evolve as we enter a new era of innovation. For example, AI can help solve a common Android pain point known as “device fatigue”, where smartphones become sluggish and unresponsive over time because the traditional CPU/GPU/DSP computing architecture is not able to meet the demand for today’s computing performance. This is one of the primary obstacles to getting to the all-in-one device.
Huawei’s new Huawei Mate 10 Pro is powered by the Kirin 970 chipset, the world’s first AI processor for smartphones with a dedicated Neural Network Processing Unit. This chipset uses the most power-efficient computing architecture, delivering both rapid response and a smooth experience. Engineered to be proactive rather than reactive, the devices are a digital representation of each user. They understand what people do and how they do it, enabling these smartphones to predict how they can perform better, faster and smarter in today’s always-on world. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro also does not require a network connection or cloud interaction like cloud AI, meaning it can deliver real-time responses to users.
The power and intuitiveness of AI on your smartphone, and not just through a network or the cloud, means that we are closer than ever before to minimising our reliance on a variety of devices. For example, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro does not require a separate dock to link to a PC or TV screen – a basic USB-C to HDMI adaptor will do – making it ideal for the business traveller who needs to travel light. The EMUI desktop functions very similarly to the familiar PC desktop, thanks to the Kirin 970 chip and the 6GB of RAM, which ensures accelerated processing power and memory. Websites, GIFs, and YouTube videos can be accessed and played seamlessly.
The Mate 10 Pro’s screen acts as a trackpad for navigation on the screen, but you can also plug in a keypad and mouse, or use wireless accessories. When the Mate 10 Pro is in desktop mode, the other functions of your phone are not turned off. You can still, for example, make calls, send and receive messages, and take photos. Also, the EMUI desktop experience still protects your privacy with its split screen mode – notifications for your emails, messages, and social media accounts only show up on your phone and not on the PC or TV screen.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro can also take users from business to recreation with its desktop functionality. Gamers can get the best out of graphic-intensive games, thanks to the speed and power of its NPU. The phone also does not heat up while in use, which means your screen won’t freeze after half an hour of play. This function of the phone is moving towards replacing the game console, and even eventually making it redundant.
The one device future is inching closer as users start to demand even more from their phones. Consumers need their phones to fulfill more functions than ever before, and it is on-device artificial intelligence that will accelerate us into the ‘superphone’ era.
By Akhram Mohamed, Product Marketing Director, Huawei