The Zimbabwean Perspective

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Huawei’s Honor division is selling a phone with a temperature sensor. Make of that what you will.

Because…COVID

Phones are always an interesting form of computing because they’re pretty much the computer that stays with you all the time. Your laptop and tablet tend to get left behind at some point , and sure wearables like smartwatches are a thing but their always limited in form or function somehow. The smartphone however, can pretty much do almost as much as laptop and PC does and while staying small and ergonomic to carry around all the time, which is why it’s a testbed for all kinds of ideas and innovations in tech. One such idea comes from Huawei subsidiary Honor, and could only really be described as “a phone of it’s time” , the Honor Play 4 Pro, complete with a temperature sensor in case you want to check someone for COVID-19.

The phone comes with the usual midrange 2020 specs, 6 GB of Ram, an actually impressive four back cameras and 64GB of storage with a MediaTek 660 processor, but of course the big draw here is that temperature sensor. It can reportedly measure anything between 20 to 100 degrees Celsius, which makes it suited for covering the human body, and considering this phone is first being released in China, chances are Honor plans to sell it to security and health staff for their regular duties of checking people entering a premises. Since it’s also being sold to regular consumers, parents may also want to use it to check on their kids from time to time, but we can be sure no one should ever try to use it on a stranger in public, as that would already cause too many personal boundary issues, et alone social distancing ones. In the end this is definitely a phone with a feature we hope we won’t need months from now, but it’s definitely a reflection of how tech companies can quickly pivot to the current crisis. Between Apple and Google’s contact tracing effort, Google’s AR app to measure two meter distance, and this, perhaps we won’t need to be so scared of Covid after all with our devices helping keep us safe. Now if only they could find that cure.

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