After announcing its new IoT platform called HarmonyOS last week, Shenzhen-based manufacturer and major 5G telecom hardware maker Huawei's sub-brand, HONOR, has now launched its HONOR Vision, the world's first smart screen equipped with HarmonyOS.
Introducing The HONOR Vision
Huawei made the announcement about its HONOR Vision at the Huawei Developer Conference yesterday. The HONOR Vision features a 55-inch 4K display with High Dynamic Range (HDR), with a bezel-less, Full-View design and 94% screen-to-body ratio. The HONOR Vision features a 6.9mm metal frame and a diamond pattern on its back.
It houses three Huawei-developed chipsets, including an AI Camera NPU and an Intelligent Display chipset. The HONOR Vision comes with an octa-core Honghu 818 SoC that supports High Dynamic Range, Super-Resolution, noise reduction, Local Dimming (LD), and a few other impressive technologies. All of this combines to produce stunning image quality and audio performance. Seven image processing technologies, in all, are here.
The AI Camera NPU chipset features all the trending technologies that consumers experience in smartphones, such as face detection and body tracking. The HONOR Vision will add posture tracking to the mix, however, along with a pop-up camera. Pop-up cameras have become another trending hardware design on smartphones from Chinese vendors. Huawei placed a HiSilicon NPU chipset into the HONOR Vision, as well as a powerful Wi-Fi chipset called the HiSilicon Hi1103.
Speaking of the HiSilicon Wi-Fi chipset, it is 1.7 times faster than the average Wi-Fi industry chipset, supports 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band frequencies, and is the first Wi-Fi chip in the world to support 160MHz bandwidth and 1.7Gbps download speeds.
HarmonyOS, Huawei's new mobile device platform
The HONOR Vision features Huawei's brand new HarmonyOS, the company's Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution. Huawei doesn't say this is an IoT solution in its press release, but its mention of being used for in-vehicle systems (according to the company's press release) indicates as much. The HONOR Vision is the first device to work on HarmonyOS.
Huawei says that HarmonyOS will support not only smart screens but also smart watches and smart speakers. According to recent reports, Huawei had a Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker in the works when the Trump Ban in mid-May due to the US/China Trade War canceled the project entirely. Apparently, Huawei will still develop smart speakers on its new platform.
HarmonyOS has been called "HongMeng OS" by Huawei in the weeks leading up to its unveil last week. HongMeng was said to be designed for only IoT solutions, not smartphones. Yet, HarmonyOS has been unveiled as HongMeng. What China calls "HongMeng" will be called "HarmonyOS" in other countries outside China.
HarmonyOS is a light IoT/mobile platform
HarmonyOS will power both smartphones and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, then, running on what Huawei says is a "microkernel-based, distributed operating system." HarmonyOS is based on a microkernel, which is the minimum software an operating system needs to work.
The use of a microkernel for HarmonyOS shows how light on devices the platform will be. Huawei has said in the press some weeks ago that "HongMeng" was developed for IoT and that IoT has fewer lines of code than mobile operating systems. HarmonyOS operates on a microkernel, as does Google's upcoming Fuchsia OS.
Huawei's HarmonyOS still has Huawei's AppGallery app store, most likely. The company has sent letters to Google Play developers to come develop apps for its app store. As for HarmonyOS itself, Huawei is committed to its IoT and mobile all-in-one solution being open-source to encourage adoption.
Europe's own Free Software Foundation has called for Huawei to make its telecom software open-source to encourage greater trust and thus, increased adoption, for its software and hardware. Of course, IoT, by design, should be open-source for cross-platform compatibility. Hopefully, Huawei will rethink its telecom software platform and open it up to third-party access as well.
HONOR Vision versions and pricing
Huawei's new HONOR Vision smart screen TV will come in two models, a regular model featuring 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, and an HONOR Vision PRO model featuring 2GB of RAM and double the storage of the non-Pro model (32GB instead of 16GB). The standard Vision smart screen costs RMB 3,799 (or ~$538 USD), while the HONOR Vision PRO costs RMB 4,799 (~$679.41).