The 5th CES Asia kicked off in Shanghai, China on June 11. CES Asia is not to be confused with CES, which is held annually in Las Vegas. However, both events share the same level of excitement from exhibitors, buyers, and fans throughout the show floor.
This year’s keynote speakers included both Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), and Huawei’s Shao Yang, vice president of Huawei Consumer BG Strategy Marketing. Considering the current relationship between Huawei and the US government, I was very interested to hear this keynote.
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Division by tariff
The keynote address opened with Shaprio, who discussed the latest global trade concerns, more specifically between the US and China. Shapiro boldy disagreed with the tariffs. “Focus on what unites us, not divide us,” he said about the tariffs. Following Shapiro’s remarks, Yang came on stage to discuss Huawei’s AI (artificial intelligence) strategy.
Huawei over the years
Yang began his presentation with a look back at the last ten years of Huawei in the mobile market. The popular mobile phones weren’t always the go-to option, but R&D took into account the feedback offered by consumers regarding its devices as well as paid attention to other successful mobile phone producers such as Apple. Yang stated that Huawei began to “design for growth” after less than stellar sales earlier in the decade.
The math of 1+8+N
Yang continued, that Huawei recognizes the power and potential of the smartphone in today’s world. Everywhere you look, you’ll notice a smartphone in someone’s hand or within their reach. These tiny “pocket” computers could potentially do much more for our day-to-day life as well as control items remotely at our request. Huawei plans to use AI to help link and activate IoT (Internet of things) devices to mobile phones, PCs, and TVs via the 1+8+N math strategy, which is a formulaic expression, that shows Huawei’s vision for unifying a consumer’s many devices. (Figure A).
The “1” is the device that gives us all control, explained Yang. It’s the smartphone: Small, portable, and easy to use. Let add this to larger devices such as tablets or other access points. Yang explained that this represents the “8” variant, which includes tablets and wearables to enhance your smartphone experience. Lastly, is “N,” the layer where everything comes together–the network and the IoT devices.
Yang stated that he believes the connectivity of IoT devices and mobile can and will be better in the future based on standardization. These standards will tell OEMs when and how to communicate with other OEMs’ products. He said that it all starts with Android and Java, from a developer standpoint. Next, he said to make a concerted effort to get the most out of each device used by the consumer, and plug all of this energy into IOT technology.
Since better standardization of IoT communication isn’t currently in place, Yang discussed its plan to make the television in our homes more useful by integrating more “G” (gestures) UI and “V” (voice controls) UI. This statement was a bit contradictory since Yang previously stated that the power was all in the cell phone. However, he reasoned that consumers don’t watch a lot of television unless its a binge-worthy option.
Then, Huawei announced it’s plans for using HiLink (HiLink merges the functions of the Huawei Mobile WiFi and RuMate apps to provide a more consistent and simplified management experience) as an IoT system to make products better. HiLink is the Huawei flavor of IoT where Huawei is set to have all of its devices wirelessly controlled with simple, intuitive communication. It’s one thing to use your phone to dim the lights in your room, but what about using your refrigerator to dim the lights? This is all a part of Huawei’s master plan of making all the tech we love more useful for the simplest of tasks, all powered by efficient hardware and tailored AI.
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Going beyond 5G
“People see 5G, but we see beyond that,” said Yang. HiLink and better IoT performance, security and privacy controls can and should be at our fingertips, explained Yang. (Note: US residents won’t be able to see what HiLInk can offer.)
While I’m here at CES Asia, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more examples of HiLink and IoT providing value to consumers. “Those who are not brave, will lag behind,” said Yang. Do you think Huawei is showing its bravery?
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