Huawei may be more of an OEM manufacturer for various wireless carriers at the moment, but the China-based company is serious about expanding into the consumer market with its own branded devices and even beyond the realm of hardware. Huawei North America’s general manager John Roese revealed that the company plans to increase spending in research and development in order to introduce “disruptive” technologies, which include touch-free devices.
Roese, a former Nortel CTO, now manages about 1,000 research and development staff for Huawei in North America. Huawei had spent $3.76 billion on research and development last year, which brought on board 11,000 new employees for the company. This year, it intends to boost research and development by 20 percent to about $4.5 billion.
One of the technologies that the company is focused on developing is touch-free smartphones and tablets, where the device can read a user’s hand gestures. Using the device’s camera to capture the visualization of a user’s hands to initiate commands would allow for a more three-dimensional interaction between user and device, similar to the motion-sensing experience with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect.
Besides hardware, however, Huawei also wants to expand into cloud storage, making it less expensive. It has partnered with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research to develop new storage techniques. According to Roese, the cloud storage system being developed would store up to 15,360TB of physics data each year, which would revolutionize computing storage architecture.