On today’s episode of SciTech, we explore how tech is powering democracy in South Africa, plus the latests breakthroughs in wildlife photography and explain why the Android system will no longer be available for Huawei smartphones.
Tackling voter apathy using WhatsApp
The Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh Xperience or simply #SMWX, the team produces a live-stream show on WhatsApp that focuses on the intersection of politics and popular culture, seeking to connect with young people in a way that mainstream media have reportedly failed to do.
The team believes that using attractive aesthetics like the brightly coloured fabrics they wear, and accessible platforms like Whatsapp, can enable young people to pick interest in the drab world of politics and democracy.
‘‘You can’t give children this incredible life that has infinitely smooth frictionless UX experiences throughout their entire life, and then give them a traditional representative democracy that sucks. At a fundamental level, it’s really horrible, slow, its time consuming and its inefficient.’‘
Camera that spots images in total darkness
Meanwhile, in Kenya, participants at the East Africa Technology Fair were left in awe, as Canon, the leading supplier of digital cameras, unveiled camera technology that allows you to spot moving subjects one kilometre away in total darkness without the help of a flash light.
The Canon ME20F-SHN, which is an Internet Protocol (IP) camera, does not use flash light to illuminate the subject, and is envisioned to help with surveillance against thieves at night, and poachers in game parks.
‘‘It also achieves a minimum subject illumination of 0.0005 lux or less. It is the highest sensitivity in the industry. That means the wildlife photographers can capture the images in colour,’‘ explained Parag Kauangal, the Sales Manager for East and Central Africa at Canon.
‘‘It also has an Ethernet connectivity which enables network capabilities, so the wildlife photographer does not need to be stationed in one place. He can operate from a remote area but still configure and monitor the scene.’‘
Worried Huawei users
Huawei users all over the world are bracing themselves for the impact of a Google ban that will limit the Chinese phone makers ability to use the Android system.
Google’s blocked updates of Android operating system for Huawei after the U.S. Trump administration decided Thursday to add Huawei to the trade blacklist under the pretext of national economic emergency.
While Huawei said on Monday that it can still develop and use the Android system thanks to the open source license, users will lose access to popular applications involving Google Play Store, Gmail and YouTube in new-generation smart phones.
“In fact, I wish they had warned me, because I had no idea. But I do not think it’s going to change much. But I admit that I would have preferred to know this in advance because I just bought it,’‘ said a worried Huawei user in Belgium.