Sun | Feb 16, 2020

Jamaican inspired by experiencing cutting edge technology in China

Published:Wednesday | October 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer

One year after being exposed to high-end, mind-blowing innovations at the facilities of Huawei Technologies, Orandi Harris is as fired up and inspired today as he was then about envisioning technology fixing Jamaica's problems.

Harris was part of the first batch of Jamaican technology students given the rare opportunity to travel to China for two weeks, courtesy of Seeds for the Future 2017, which is one of Huawei's biggest social responsibility programmes.

And as the 12 students selected this year from the University of the West Indies and the University of Technology gear up to travel to Huawei, Harris believes that on their return to Jamaica they will bring new ideas to spark local innovations.

"When I went, we learned about advanced ICT technology. Seeing what Huawei does in person, as opposed to reading it online, is a whole different thing. They have various security concepts for smart campuses, smart cities and 5G technology. They explained to us what 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G technologies are, and I was able to identify immediately where Jamaica stands," he told The Gleaner.

Arvel Grant, senior director of modernisation and strategic projects at the Ministry of National Security told The Gleaner recently that as the JamaicaEye surveillance system is being rolled out and improved, aspects of it could facilitate facial recognition.

Harris indicated that that facial-recognition technology he was exposed to while at Huawei could give teeth to any plans stakeholders have in ridding Jamaica of crime.

"I was shown what Huawei is doing in terms of its growth in technology and applications that they have come up with. There was a security system with facial recognition. The system they showed us was able to identify that people were in a room, and it took pictures of our faces. Once the picture is taken, it is run through a database of different individuals, and it pulls up all the history of the person and tries to tie what they are doing to a specific activity that could be considered criminal," he explained.