The last decade has seen IoT grow from a hardcore B2B term to a common household name. Now, with IoT technologies becoming a part of almost every household product, companies are also jumping on the bandwagon making sure their products remain relevant and affordable by the consumer.
Being labelled as one of the most vital innovations of the 21st century, IoT is bridging the gap between inanimate things and humans and bringing them together more than ever before. Things are becoming smarter, and human beings are demanding for these smart things as they are making life easier and saving substantial time.
While IoT technologies are now a part of many common household items (especially as compared to before) it is still not affordable by the common man. However, Xiaomi is now swiftly moving to the smart products that are affordable and come with top-notch technology and high-end devices.
Xiaomi was founded by Lei Jun, in April 2010 in China with an aim to establish further functionality to Android and yet ensure an easy user interface and affordable technology. Xiaomi is known for its smartphones and tablets and interestingly in just three years since the founding of the company, it grew from a start-up to the 4th largest smartphone brand in China and the creator of one of the most popular Android custom ROMs Worldwide. Xiaomi’s philosophy since day 1 has been to provide top specifications phone/tablet with a great price and no compromise on quality. In fact, in 2019, a year that saw the global smartphone market minimize, Xiaomi flouted the odds by selling a record 118.7 million phones around the world. Out of this, US$16.9 billion came solely from their phone business.
The company established itself as an affordable smartphone and tablets organization catering to the large-screen niche that was initially dominated by Android phones. However, interestingly, the company quickly started expanding their range to higher-end devices. The company ventured into smart products and tapped the power of IoT on time, to bring their range of IoT enabled products to every household. The company made US$6.5 billion from smart gadgets alone in the year 2018. According to Satistia, in the second quarter of 2019, revenue from Xiaomi’s IoT and lifestyle segment amounted to 14.9 billion yuan.
(*2016 Data is Confidential)
Today, Xiaomi has 132 million connected devices, through its smart shoes, scooters, cycles, televisions, fitness bands, and, smartphones. The company, with time, started investing in IoT technologies either by developing its own or by buying companies/start-ups that were functioning in this space and is now diving into customer’s homes fast with new product launches.
As of March 31, 2018, Xiaomi had instituted an ecosystem of more than 210 companies through investments and management, of which more than 90 companies are solely focused on research and development of smart hardware and consumer lifestyle products. This clearly shows the direction the company is heading towards especially eyeing the lifestyle category. According to iResearch, as of December 2017, Xiaomi has built the most significant consumer IoT platform globally in terms of the number of connected devices (excluding smartphone and laptops).
CEO Manu Jain said that of the 200 companies in its ecosystem, only about 50-80 companies had launched similar products so far. There are over 100 companies that are still in stealth mode and yet to launch products. Xiaomi has inputs in design and provides software, but the firms do the implementation.
Brands that are connected with Xiaomi
Wow, XIAOYI, VIOMI, Huami, MiJiG, YEELIGHT, Wiha, ZMI.
MiOT (Mi Internet of Things) ecosystem is a large network of connected/smart devices that provide the platform for devices to be connected. The company now has 115 million devices that are connected through Xiamoi’s IoT platform, it also has 10 million daily active users worldwide. Within the ecosystem, the company works to bring together the most recent and advanced technologies required to innovate and in turn manufacture top quality, good looking smart objects.
The company, especially with this ecosystem attempts to improve the existing technologies and enhance them. This ecosystem endows brands to connect with their target audiences and bring their products to the market. This project also aims to spread awareness and knowledge about smart products, internet of things and artificial intelligence. MiOT combines the products of various brands such as Xiaomi, Mijia, Aqara, Viomi, Yeelight, Amazfit, Ninebot, ZMi, 90 GO FUN, Yi, Roborock etc.
Swedish home furnishing giant, IKEA and Chinese tech giant, XIAOMI announced a strategic partnership earlier this year to develop smart products for a smart home.
The companies will introduce a full range of smart lighting products which will be connected to Xiaomi’s IoT platform. One will be able to control these smart lighting solutions via Xiaomi products, including Xiao Ai voice assistant and the Mi Home app. These lights can be connected to other Xiaomi IoT devices as well such as sensors, and electrical appliances to make your home a smart home. Meanwhile, IKEA already has lighting solutions that can be controlled via Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Homekit; however, this is the first time they have partnered with a Chinese technology giant. According to IKEA, working cross industries can make smart home technology accessible to many more people.
The portfolio will hopefully grow in the future and will expand from more than just lighting solutions to other household products as well such as sockets, loudspeakers etc. These compatible products are scheduled for availability starting this month.
As mentioned earlier, Xiaomi already has a broad range of smart products available in various markets around the world.
Xiaomi has close to 40 products available in its smart sockets and sensors portfolio. The company has products in collaboration with Honeywell, Aqara, Innolinks etc. It also has a range of its products primarily connected with Mi Home or for enhancing your Mi home experience. The Mi Smart Plug is one of the best options from the broad range available. Together with the Mi Home app, it allows you to control a household appliance from anywhere, thereby giving you the power to schedule it to turn on or off automatically. These plugs are affordable, and don’t require a dedicated hub, and can be synced with Google Assistant too.
With a variety of over 30 products available, there are products in collaboration with Philips, Yeelight, Nanoleaf etc. The IKEA collaboration will see more products added to this portfolio. Out of these products, the Xiaomi Yeelight is the best product to purchase, efficient and inexpensive and can be used without a smart hub. It can be operated using voice commands or via the Mi app and supports 16 million colors. Xiaomi claims that the Yeelight is suitable for up to 11 years of service, and its low wattage (9W) helps you save money.
The company has an astounding range of over 30 WiFi routers all developed by the brand itself. Each of these routers caters to a different segment of homes and is the best-picked basis of your requirements. The routers come with a large number of features, and in fact, the portfolio includes portable routers as well.
Xiaomi boasts of a variety of water and air purifiers that include face masks as well. The company provides superior quality in affordable products. They have humidifiers and refilling the cartridge as well. The air purifiers and water products are best picked on the basis of personal requirements such as the size of the room etc.
As the company seems to be heading head on towards beauty and lifestyle products, they are launching smart products in this category as well. They have a range of almost 100 products in this category. These products vary from body scales to the toothbrush, to shavers and trimmers etc. The company also has face massagers and styling combs along with sleeping masks.
Over 100 products fall in the smart appliance category of Xiaomi. These products include induction cookers, juicers, smart locks for homes, diffuser lamps, kettles, steam iron etc. From this range of appliances, the Mi Smart Desk Lamp is a good purchase. It has a sleek minimalistic design and offers multiple comfortable lighting for reading, working on a computer etc. And the light can be controlled via an app.
The company has a small range of over ten items available in its power strips category. They come with a variety of 3, 5, 6 etc. plug points.
One of the most exciting ranges of their smart products falls under their cleaning gear. With over 30 products to choose from, one of their best products from this range is the Xiaomi Roborock S5. One of the best smart robot vacuums you can get your hands on. The battery lasts 150 minutes, and the robot cleaner comes with features such as no-go zones, direction control etc.
Xiaomi, as a company, has made its future path extremely clear. The company will continue to focus on superior technologies; however, it will bring these technologies close to the consumer using their lifestyle and everyday products. The company will continue to make smart and affordable products.