Would you please share in brief about OPPO Inno Day 2021? And what was the core focus at the event this year?
Every year, we host the OPPO Inno Day, where we meet our users and focus and share the technology trends along with OPPO’s investments in R&D. Hence, that translates into seeing a lot of conceptual technology. Also, at the same podium, we demonstrate the real-life commercialised technology that will be released on the same day or soon to come. And as an example of that, this year at the event, we launched our first foldable phone, Find N – which is a result of four years of research and development and six generations of prototypes.
Would you please share some latest insights and achievements in the development of consumer technologies by OPPO?
While foldable technology isn’t new, we’ve put in years of research and development to figure out what consumers want in a foldable phone. As a result, our most recent launch, Find N, provides a revamped user experience for those who have previously used foldable devices and those new to the foldable form factor.
So, on the front end, customers will notice a new aspect ratio, which we call the golden ratio, between the phone’s height and breadth, allowing full productivity on the outer screen. Users can, for example, check the news, videos, and social media. At the same time, consumers may expand the phone’s screen to a 7.1-inch display and enjoy the contents in a larger landscape perspective. The crease is one of the drawbacks that foldable phone users have experienced. After conducting extensive research and development, we provided a solution. As a result, OPPO Find N consumers will not notice any creases on their phones.
Artificial intelligence technology is another major element. At OPPO Inno Day, we also unveiled MariSilicon X, our in-house imaging NPU. It has a six-nanometer architecture and can do 18 trillion operations per second, which is more than adequate to accommodate our AI algorithms. It also enables real-time RAW processing for 4K AI night video shooting with live preview.
Pete Lau, CPO at OPPO, said, “If technology is not affordable, then it is meaningless.” Hence, we have worked to enhance the features of the foldable phone, but the price positioning would make it less of a novelty or royalty and more into the mass affordable.
So, we have two phone iterations – one comes with 8GB + 256GB. The other one is 12GB +512GB storage. We are working to offer affordable pricing because we believe that people nowadays need that multitask on the go.
Our third launch at the event was the OPPO Air Glass. The AR (assisted reality) device is a monocular glass that easily clips onto existing glasses. In addition, it is equipped with OPPO self-developed Spark Micro Projector, micro-LED and a bespoke diffraction optical waveguide display – supports four different user interactions through touch, voice, head movement, and hand motion, allowing users to have faster and easier access to the information they need.
For instance, no single solution helps cyclists in GPS coordination. Now with all their safety, they can enjoy cycling and at the same time get GPS directions. So we see many possibilities and how this assisted reality can be a part of our daily lives.
How do you see the current Middle East technology landscape and what are your plans for the year ahead?
The Middle East technology market is growing exponentially. We have seen a higher than anticipated adoption rate for the 5G technology in the UAE. So, we foresee that in 2022 that growth rate is going to continue. We also observed a greater emphasis on and higher expectations from customers for an elevated level of photography. Consumers expect top-notch, best quality in a blurred background, sharp focus on the foreground images. 4k is now becoming the norm. With all of these higher standards, we feel that OPPO’s fingerprints are exceptional at leaving an impression on the screen.
We have the top three focuses for the year 2022 – Firstly, the foldable phones are of major priority. So we will succeed with multiple iterations. Ou second focus will be on artificial intelligence, computation and photography. And finally, it’s synchronising between the global strategy and the UAE as a country strategy, pushing more towards premium.
We have studied the UAE market and witnessed demands from consumers regarding the finished quality, hardware aspects, and the product’s final overall look and feel. As a result, we’re pushing more towards the premium segment. That is a core focus point. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop any particular offering. Instead, it implies that consumers will get to see more high-end offerings, premium quality, and affordable pricing.