A new software operating system telecommunications giant Huawei says will be "the catalyst for all technology in the future" is to be launched.
The system - known as Harmony OS - is a lightweight and compact all-in-one system designed to allow smart devices to "seamlessly" share data. It also provides the groundwork for apps that can be run across multiple devices at the same time.
But Kiwis will have to wait to take advantage. Huawei plans to perfect its use in the Chinese market before expanding globally over the next three years.
Nor will it be applied to smartphones straight away. Instead Huawei intends first using it for smart devices like smart watches, smart screens, in-car systems and smart speakers.
Huawei's continued support of Google and the Android operating system is still paramount – as seen with the coming launches of the innovative budget smartphones, the Y9 Prime and the Nova 5T, both powered by Android.
The company's Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu says the system marks the dawn of the intelligent era in the Internet of Things (IoT): "Harmony OS is not just for today or tomorrow. It connects everything, is the catalyst for all technology in the future and opens up a trillion dollar market."
Yu says the world is entering an age where people expect a holistic experience across all devices and scenarios: "To support this, we felt it important to have an operating system with improved cross-platform capabilities; we needed an OS that supports all scenarios, can be used across a broad range of devices and platforms – and can meet consumer demand for low latency (the time which data takes to travel from one point to another) and strong security."
Yu says Harmony OS, which is completely different from Android, is microkernel-based (software containing the near-minimum amount of functions and features required to implement an operating system) and supports collaboration across devices.
He says new operating systems are traditionally released alongside new types of devices.
But 10 years ago Huawei envisioned a future where intelligence would seamlessly integrate with all aspects of our lives – and began exploring how it might deliver an experience transcending the boundaries of physical space and spanning different hardware and platforms.
"Through this (Harmony OS) system we aim to establish an integrated and shared ecosystem across devices, create a secure and reliable environment and deliver a holistic intelligent experience across every interaction with every device," says Yu.
"It will be first adopted in smart screen products which are due to launch later this year," he says. "Over the next three years it will be optimised and gradually adopted across a broader range of smart devices."
Yu says the system has many features including:
• Apps built on Harmony OS can run on different devices while delivering a seamless, collaborative experience across all.
• Data sharing at a rate five times more efficient than existing systems.
• Enhanced security and low latency so the probability of attack on the system is greatly reduced.
• An ability to adapt to different screen layout controls and interactions and support both drag-and-drop control and preview-oriented visual programming.
Meanwhile the Y9 Prime, to be launched in New Zealand on August 23, at a highly affordable $399, is an Android bezel-less phone with a pop-up camera and a full HD display. For a remarkable budget price, the Y9 Prime provides the latest innovative features present in many much more expensive cameras, including AI-supported photography, a long battery life, high-end graphics and impressive design.
The advantage of the loss of the bezel is a fuller view when gaming or viewing videos on the 6.59 inch screen. The 16-megapixel front camera is hidden in the body of the phone when not in use, but appears like a submarine periscope when activated and offers AI scene detection for better images.
The triple-camera set-up (a 16-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel depth sensor, plus an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera that makes it easy to capture larger subjects like a large group of people or a big building), also has AI scene detection and is designed to produce brighter photos.
Nor is Huawei stopping there – with the launch scheduled for late September of the Nova 5T, with the following features:
• Five AI cameras for multi-scenario photography (a 32MP front camera, 48MP main camera and 120-degree ultra-wide angle camera)
• Fashion design (unique reflection effect on back cover, slim body, full view display)
• Powerful performance and intelligent experience (Super-fast charging, large battery, Kirin 980 7nm chipset)