[News] XIAOMI PARTNERS WITH OCULUS TO BUILD THE NEXT GENERATION OF VR

Xiaomi introduces Mi VR Standalone, a new all-in-one VR system coming to China in 2018

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2018 — Today, global technology leader Xiaomi, and Oculus announced they have been working together to bring two standalone VR headsets to market: Oculus Go and Xiaomi Mi VR Standalone. Both headsets aim to lower barriers of entry, allowing more people to experience high-quality VR.

The Mi VR Standalone headset will be available exclusively in China. Oculus Go, first announced at Oculus Connect in October 2017, will be available in the rest of the world. This new standalone category of hardware is designed to bring more freedom and accessibility to VR. Without the need for a cable, external sensors, or a dropped-in mobile phone, standalone headsets represent an exciting new phase of VR hardware.


In collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, both headsets use the powerful Snapdragon Mobile VR Platform to address VR processing demands in this standalone form factor. By bringing together Xiaomi’s innovation and experience in consumer electronics and Oculus’ industry-leading VR engineering and expertise, both Mi VR Standalone and Oculus Go will offer cutting-edge technologies and a high level of craftsmanship.

Facebook VP of VR Hugo Barra, Qualcomm Incorporated President Cristiano Amon, and Xiaomi VP Thomas Tang at CES 2018.

Tang Mu, VP of Mi Ecosystem and head of Mi Lab, said: “We are excited to work with Oculus on these standalone devices that exceed expectations in terms of performance at a very attractive price. Xiaomi has always relentlessly pursued the best user experience and price-to-performance ratio. For the best experience, we consider every minute detail. Through our collaboration with Oculus, we have integrated world-class technologies and craftsmanship to produce a VR standalone that lets people immerse themselves in another world without being connected to smartphones or computers.”

“The standalone VR form factor represents the next significant phase of VR hardware development at Oculus,” said Hugo Barra, VP of VR at Facebook. “Through our partnership with Xiaomi, both Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone represent our first step in delivering that sweet spot between mobile and PC VR. These devices will be, hands down, the easiest way to get into VR.”

FIRST LOOK AT MI VR STANDALONE
Mi VR Standalone shares the same core hardware as Oculus Go. Both headsets have the same advanced technologies, including a 2K high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen, next-generation lenses and integrated spatial audio. Adding to these features is a vast content library of movies, 360° videos and interactive games available through the Mi VR Store.

Mi VR Standalone features integrated spatial audio technology developed by Oculus. The audio drivers are built directly into the headset, making getting in and out of VR much faster and making the headset easy to share with someone else. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack for a more private listening experience.

Based on Oculus technology, the Mi VR Standalone system caters to what Chinese users want the most: a powerful video player and a localized social experience. Mi VR Standalone supports both the Oculus Mobile SDK and the Mi VR SDK, making it easy for Chinese developers to support the headset, and giving existing Oculus developers a streamlined path to bring their content to the Chinese market on the Mi VR platform. Xiaomi is working with developers to bring some of the popular games, videos and apps from the Oculus Store to the Mi VR Store in China, giving Chinese consumers access to high-quality mobile VR content.

Capture the world through new lenses

Are you getting a little bored of your 4:3, 16:9 or even 18:9 camera frames that provide a limited view of the world you are trying to capture? 360-degree cameras can represent a scene in an entirely new way, enabling the viewer to capture a greater range and sensory experience.

Among the many products in this rapidly growing photography category, Mi Sphere Camera is an well rounded, accessible device that elevates the user experience from just seeing the world in the front to the entire scenario of that location.

“A 360-degree camera is an important tool that allows consumers to make their own VR content,” said Huang Yetao, founder of MadV, the manufacturer of Mi Sphere Camera. (MadV is one of Xiaomi’s Mi Ecosystem companies.)

In addition to capturing 360-degree still photos, Mi Sphere Camera also allows users to record amazing panoramic videos at high speeds. Its six-axis electronic image stabilization corrects movement while skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping, or any other high-speed actions. It also has a 1600mAH battery, which is higher in capacity than many other products in its price category. The powerful battery supports up to 75 minutes of 4K video on a single charge during normal temperature conditions.

To accommodate the adventurer who uses the Mi Sphere Camera, the unit is water and dust proof, and can withstand being immersed in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.

The size is also an important attribute as the Mi Sphere Camera was designed for individuals who are often carrying a lot of equipment. In fact, the thinnest part of the Mi Sphere Camera is only 12mm, making it easy to transport and store as well.

With such specifications, users can focus on reaching the next peak, pushing their limits or exploring a new city knowing that their camera will capture each adventure to the fullest.

Comparison  

Life in 360, a YouTube channel focused on 360 photography, created a video comparing the 4K video effects of Mi Sphere Camera, INSTA One and Theta V — three popular consumer-level 360-degree cameras. After changing locations and light conditions with the three units, the reviewer found that Mi Sphere Camera did a great job in stitching and stabilization, and just as well as the others when it comes to the quality of 4K videos.

Below are the key specifications of the three 360-cameras portrayed in the video:

Device name Theta V INSTA 360 One Mi Sphere Camera
Image resolution 5376 x 2688 6912 x 3456 6912 x 3456
Video resolution 3840×1920@30fps 3840×1920@30fps 3456 x 1728@30fps
Size 45.2 x 130.6 x 22.9mm 96 x 36.5 x 25mm 78 x 67.40 x 12.00mm
Battery life Supports up to 40 minutes 4K video 820mAH 1600mAH
Image stabilization Not supportive Electronic image stabilization Six-axis electronic image stabilization
Water-proof Not supportive Not supportive IP67 water/dust-proof
Price $375.99 $299 $299.99

 

Mi Sphere Camera is now available for U.S consumers to purchase on Amazon, creating an opportunity for the beautiful moments in life to be captured in an entirely new way.

Kids Are the Future and Xiaomi Is Here to Help Motivate Them

Technology is greatly influencing the way children learn and play.

Over the decades, smart toys have grown from a niche industry to a profitable business. According to UK-based analyst firm Juniper Research, annual smart toy sales across the globe are expected to grow to $11.3 billion by 2020. Today, toy stores not only have an array of classic board games and stuffed animals but also internet-connected devices, smart racing cars and drones, smart building blocks, and even robots that teach kids how to code.

We saw an opportunity to combine education and play with our Mi Robot Builder, a building and coding robotic toy, which allows kids to develop their own codes and build different models using creative thinking. Our Mi Robot Builder, recently made available on Amazon, is one of our newest additions to the smart toy market.

The Mi Robot Builder is manufactured by one of our Mi Ecosystem companies, Aiqi, which focuses on smart hardware and robotic products. The lead designer at Aiqi graduated from California College of the Arts and he has amassed a design team that comes with decades of experience in the traditional building block toy industry.

For kids who love robotics, this toy is indeed a treat. It comes with 978 bricks made from a mechanical transmission structure to ensure effective movement and action. It can be remotely controlled by the Mi Robot Builder app via Bluetooth. By simply dragging and dropping complex command codes to the robot from the connected smartphone, kids can command the robot in three different control settings – joystick, gyroscope and route control –  and can also create their own set of instructions for the robot to follow.

The Mi Robot Builder can be compiled into different models including a robot, a dinosaur, and an airplane. Each model can reach its self-balance, thanks to an intelligent CPU processor that is developed through a series of balanced algorithms at the heart of the product, allowing the robot to always stay upright and perform perfectly coordinated actions, whether at a standstill or on the move. The robot also comes with four USB type-C ports, which provide power to the robot and support scalable components up to 3 kg in weight.

The high-power motor, in addition to a built-in photoelectric encoder, allows the robot to have accurate speed and direction. As a result, if motor stalling occurs, a protection mode is automatically triggered to prevent the motor from overstraining.

Mi Robot Builder inspires kids to be creative thinkers and builders. It is our hope that this early introduction to technology and problem-solving will allow kids to find a passion for science and technology at an early age, allowing them to realize that the power to create is within them.

Three Xiaomi products you need for a cozy winter

For many white collar workers who have to spend the most of their lives in an office building, a MUJI store that happens to be in the same building can be a perfect place to seek comfort. There, they can easily shop a wide variety of good quality and gracefully-designed items from stationery to household items and apparel.

As Xiaomi continues to grow in the mobile tech space, our founder and CEO Lei Jun has expressed an ambition to become the MUJI of the technology space, and also expressed interest in the company’s growth in the consumer goods sphere. We are a company that primarily focuses on technology products but also offers a variety of lifestyle products with minimalist designs tailored to consumers’ needs, and all made available at accessible prices.

With winter right around the corner, these three Xiaomi products are perfect for a cozy winter: Mi Smart Kettle, Mi Down Jacket and Mi Wool Gloves.

Mi Smart Kettle

Sipping a warm cup of coffee on a chilly winter morning is perhaps one of the best moments of the day. Our RMB 199 Mi Smart Kettle can make it even better with four key features: 

Smart: Our kettle can be connected to the Mi Home app, so that users can set the desired temperature on their phones. The app offers several automatic modes, such as a 90 degree setting to brew green tea and a 50 degree setting for milk powder. Users can customize their kettle by pre-setting their preferred temperatures as well.

Boils fast: Thanks to the 1,800 W powerful heating ring at the bottom, the 1.5 liter kettle only takes five minutes to boil water. In contrast, other electric kettles take an average of 10-15 minutes to boil. The kettle’s liner, cap and temperature sensor are all made from a world-class 304 stainless material by POSCO, the South Korea based world leading iron and steel provider, offering a nontoxic, easy to wash and odorless product.

Safe: Thanks to its double-layered exterior material, even when the kettle liner reaches a temperature of 100 degrees, its surface still maintains a temperature of 40 degrees. Due to a hydraulic cylinder cushioning design, the cap opens slowly, so that users are not burned by boiling water vapor either. Our Mi Smart Kettle also has a patented power connector to prevent electric shock.

Mi Down Jacket

Our 90% white duck down jacket is both warm and extremely light, making it the ideal article of clothing for the traveling or working individual this winter. Made from Toray, the leading fibers & textiles technology company from Japan, this material has no pinholes so that feathers won’t escape.

After multiple tests and designs to consider, we have created a custom-fit jacket that is ideal to store while traveling and fashionable to sport on any occasion.

Mi Wool Gloves

For the businessman or millennial on-the-go, our RMB 49 Mi Wool Gloves allow you to continue typing an email or texting while keeping your hands warm. Using a conductive material on the fore finger, middle finger and thumb, the gloves mimic human touch and fit the hand snuggly, allowing accurate touch on the screen. Our Mi Wool Gloves embody a very simple and stylish design, coming in dark grey, dark blue and cream, a functional and attractive accessory for the winter.

These Xiaomi lifestyle products are designed to contribute to consumers‘ everyday lives, allowing them to be more efficient and further enjoy themselves while traveling, going to work or just relaxing at home this winter season.

【News】Xiaomi makes its debut in Spain, its first entry into Western Europe

Spain entry marks significant milestone for global technology leader Xiaomi

Xiaomi’s devices are set to shake up the local smartphone market with high-quality performance at incredible prices

MADRID, Spain, 7 November 2017—Global technology leader Xiaomi took a major step forward in its global expansion journey as it announced its arrival in Spain today, marking its first entry into Western Europe. Well-known for its range of high-quality innovative products at incredible prices, Xiaomi is set to shake up the smartphone market in Spain and create ripples around Western Europe.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun and other co-founders started the company based on the vision “innovation for everyone”. A unique company like no other, Xiaomi has an innovative business model inspired by Internet thinking that ensures the highest level of efficiency, so it can make its products with cutting-edge technology available at amazing prices.

There are three pillars that make up Xiaomi’s “triathlon” business model: hardware, new retail and Internet services. During an event held at the COAM space in Madrid today, Xiaomi announced that it is bringing to Spain all three parts of its business model, including its very own e-commerce site Mi.com and a number of Authorized Mi Stores. Through this, the company is demonstrating its commitment to the Spanish market and showing its serious ambitions to change the game in the technology industry.

Mr. Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President, Xiaomi, said at the event: “Today is a momentous occasion for Xiaomi as it marks a new chapter in our global expansion journey. We are so excited to be taking this first step into Western Europe, starting with Spain. After years of unwavering support from our Mi Fans in the Spanish market, we are delighted to officially launch our products here to serve our fans. Xiaomi is a company committed to developing products that combine cutting-edge technological innovations and great design while defying price expectations, and we believe that our products will be a very attractive option for consumers and will ultimately change the game in the technology industry.”

Xiaomi is partnering with Ingram Micro and AliExpress to distribute, market and support its highly innovative products in Spain. Other than its own e-commerce site http://www.mi.com/es, for the very first time, AliExpress (http://www.aliexpress.com) will launch official stores where official Xiaomi products will be sold. Xiaomi’s range of products will also be available online and offline in Spain via Amazon, Carrefour, MediaMarkt and Phone House.

Xiaomi also announced today two Authorized Mi Stores located in Madrid that will open on 11 November—one is situated in the shopping mall La Vaguada and the other one in Xanadú.

Wang Xiang (middle), Senior Vice President, Xiaomi; Enrico Salvatori (right), Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm EMEA; Donovan Sung (left), Director of Product Management and Marketing, Xiaomi Global

The event also featured a speech from Qualcomm Technologies’ Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm EMEA, who congratulated Xiaomi on its official debut in Europe: “Qualcomm Technologies and Xiaomi have worked in close collaboration for many years and have forged a successful working relationship to bring leading-edge products to the world. Since Xiaomi launched its first device six years ago, we have worked together to create powerful and popular smartphones based on Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platforms. Qualcomm Technologies is honoured to work with Xiaomi and be part of their arrival in Europe and proud to be powering their first two mobile devices for Europe.”

Mi MIX 2: Innovation on Full Display

One of the key products that Xiaomi is bringing to Spain is Mi MIX 2, a gorgeous evolution of Mi MIX, the revolutionary concept phone unveiled a year ago. Introduced as a concept device last October, Mi MIX heralded a turning point in the design of smartphones and pioneered the trend of full screen display smartphones.

Mi MIX 2, powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform, builds on the foundation of the original concept. It is 11.9% smaller than Mi MIX, and has a 5.99-inch screen with a 18:9 full screen display, which delivers a stunning appearance with the screen almost entirely filling up the front surface.

Jointly designed with world-renowned designer Philippe Starck, Mi MIX 2 represents Xiaomi’s efforts in pushing ahead with the use of ceramic. It has a beautiful ceramic back, which features a four-sided curved design that transitions smoothly into the aluminum frame.

Mi MIX 2 will be available in Spain for €499 for the 6GB + 64GB version.

Mi A1: Picture Perfect Dual Camera

Xiaomi also announced the launch of Mi A1 in Spain, starting at €229 for the 4GB + 64GB version, the first device to run on Google’s evolved Android One program.

Powered by the Snapdragon 625 Mobile Platform, Mi A1 incorporates a dual camera configuration similar to that in Mi 6, Xiaomi’s latest flagship device, with wide angle and telephoto lenses used to incredible effect.

The two lenses allow Mi A1 to calculate what is in the foreground and what is in the background, creating a depth-of-field effect that typically requires a DSLR lens to achieve, allowing the user to create photos of unparalleled clarity and color. In addition, an improved Beautify mode that makes selfies look more natural, now works with the both the front 5MP camera as well as the 12MP dual rear camera. Mi A1 supports 2x optical zoom, which makes photos of distant subjects remain clear, while 10x digital zoom is also supported.

Mi A1 runs on stock Android to offer a high-quality software experience designed by Google, underscoring Xiaomi’s commitment to providing more choices for users. It will receive the Android Oreo update by the end of 2017 and will be one of the first smartphones to get the next version of Android in 2018.

Mi Ecosystem: A range of award-winning IoT products for Spain

Another key component of Xiaomi’s hardware strategy is “Mi Ecosystem”, Xiaomi’s unique approach of incubating and investing in specialized companies to effectively expand its product line and solidify its position as a top Internet of Things player.

The “Mi Ecosystem” sub-brand covers a range of hundreds of products manufactured by Xiaomi’s portfolio companies, which numbers 89 now. In addition, the Mi Ecosystem IoT platform has crossed 60 million connected devices, becoming the world’s largest smart hardware platform.

In Spain, Xiaomi is introducing the following well-loved Mi Ecosystem products:

Mi Electric Scooter: Priced at €349.99, Mi Electric Scooter has an award-winning design and is incredibly easy to master. It travels 30km on a single charge and weighs just 12.5kg, and comes with an LED headlight and features such as regenerative braking. By connecting to an app, users can also use their phone as a dashboard.

Mi Box: Mi Box is Xiaomi’s 4K Ultra HD streaming media player powered by Google’s Android TV, priced at €74.99. It offers 4K support at 60 frames per second, support for the latest HDR10 standard, Google voice search and Google Cast.

Mi Action Camera 4K: Mi Action Camera 4K, priced at €134.99, captures 4K videos at 30fps with a 145° super wide-angle lens, which is great for landscape still shots. It has a 2.4-inch built-in display for users to control the camera, and a dedicated app can allow users to discover even more shooting options.

Mi Band 2: Mi Band 2 tracks steps, heart rate and alerts users of notifications and calls, and is available at €24.99. It has an amazing battery life of up to 20 days, and is also IP67-rated to protect against water and dust.

Xiaomi’s range of products will be available in Spain starting 8 November at 1p.m. on all online channels including Xiaomi’s own http://www.mi.com/es, AliExpress and Amazon, as well as the online sites of retailers including Carrefour, MediaMarkt and Phone House. They will be available on 11 November at the two Authorized Mi Stores at La Vaguada and Madrid Xanadú. The rest of the offline channels, namely Carrefour, MediaMarkt and Phone House, will start selling Xiaomi’s products on 22 November.

For more information about the products coming to Spain, visit http://www.mi.com/es.

Mi Electric Scooter paving the way for smart transportation

In 2011, Wang Ye, founder and CEO of Ninebot, was surprised at the number of electric scooters he saw when traveling to Southern Europe.

Wang Ye, founder and CEO of Ninebot

He realized that other than motorcycles and electric bikes, personal mobility devices have become a smart solution in highly congested urban areas.

Though motor and electric bikes have their own strengths, electric scooters beat them in at least two ways. First, electric scooters are lighter – normally weighing between 10-15 kg. Second, they are foldable and easy to maneuver in crowded cities.

In Europe, especially Southern and Western Europe, electric scooters are very popular, particularly because automobiles are restricted from entering downtown areas of many European cities.

Today, the market volume for electric scooters across the globe is 3 to 5 million units.

And a large part of this demand comes from China. In large Chinese metropolitans like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, electric scooters are more popular than in smaller cities and towns. The reasons are obvious: heavier traffic and a faster pace of life. Besides, motor bikes are forbidden in main areas in several large cities, while electric bikes are not as convenient as electric scooters.

Mi Electric Scooter

You’ve probably heard of Ninebot, because our popular self-balancing scooter was made by this company and carries its brand, but you might not know that this is also the portfolio company in Mi Ecosystem that’s behind our Mi Electric Scooter.

Ninebot is a Beijing-based company and  merged with Segway in 2015, the US-based, world-leading, personal mobility device maker in 2015. Xiaomi is one of the major investors of Ninebot.

Because of its experience and resources, Wang decided to further tap Xiaomi’s distribution network of leading suppliers in order to branch out further into the last-mile smart transportation industry.

Beautiful and smart

At that time, there were already many electric scooters in the market, but the Ninebot team wanted to make something unique.

“After a great deal of product research, we believe we’ve created something unique to the marketplace, blending award-winning style with superior performance that stands out among the competition,” said Wang.”

Wang said the goal of the Mi Electric Scooter was to be beautiful and smart. As Xiaomi’s Mi Ecosystem products have unique industrial design style and strict ID standards, the manufacturing team experimented multiple times to optimize the electric scooter’s design. The painting procedure alone had over 30 tests to achieve the right look. For these efforts, the product has received the coveted Best of the Best of the Red Dot Design Award and the Good Design Best 100 Award.

Practicality is also key to the Mi Electric scooter. To figure out the best riding experience, Ninebot bought 50-60 different types of electric scooters for research. As a result, its highly durable tires can ride for 5000 km, or 250 hours, for a continuous high speed of 20 km/hour. As the scooter’s tires do not come in a standard size, we equip all our global versions with one to two extra tires and tools for replacing.

Like other smart Mi Ecosystem products, Mi Electric Scooter can be remotely controlled by an app via Bluetooth. When it is paired with the app, users can track their average riding speed, distance of their latest ride, their cycling habits, as well as remaining power of the scooter.

With such developments in the transportation industry, we are optimistic about the future of mobility, as it becomes even more innovative and intuitive on the road, providing more possibilities to explore the world.

Top 4 Xiaomi Products to Transform the Way You Travel

While everyone gets excited for a relaxing vacation, no one looks forward to the most stressful aspect – travel. Utilizing innovative technologies and carefully attending to details, we have several products that can help alleviate some of the stresses and make the transition from bedroom to beach side more enjoyable.

90 Point Metal Luggage

Photo by Virginia Xu

One of the major innovated technologies on our 90 Point Metal Luggage should be its ultra-quiet 360 degree spinning wheels, specially made with silica gel and man-made elastic rubber, which is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. We carefully selected an independent China-based wheel manufacturer, known in the suitcase wheel industry for always willing to take challenges to make very demanding products. As a result, the wheels are very, very flexible. “Even a gentle breeze can make the wheels move,” as a user named “Alitaozitu” described on Xiaomi BBS. Besides, it makes little noise on smooth roads.

Photo by Virginia Xu

Another innovation comes from its design. Instead of the popular parallel groove structure of case shell and a design of vertical striped ribs, our suitcase has a large area of mirror-like surface with just a few horizontal striped ribs. That means, due to less ribs that consititue the exterior, we had to look for a sturdier and more elastic material. Though we were new to the suitcase market, we relentlessly explored ways to make innovation, as what we have done on crafting our smartphones. At last we ordered a higher labeled aluminum from Alcoa, the world’s leading aluminum provider. This aluminum provides a shock absorbing resistance and sustains color and sturdiness for a longer period of time. We were the first to use such a material and now Samsonite and Tumi also use the same material we’ve chosen, according to the product manager of our suitcase.

The luggage includes an adjustable drawbar to suit every height. We also designed a tilted surface for TSA customs locks, allowing users to easily unlock their suitcase without the extra hassle of rearranging items.

Our 90 Point Luggage also comes in Makrolon material versions sized in 20”, 24” and 28”, priced from RMB 299 to RMB 499.

Mi Power Bank

Photo by Virginia Xu

According to our statistics as far as 30 Sept 2016, we have sold over 55 million Mi Power Banks in the past three years.

Smartphones are the way we connect to our world, perhaps even more so when traveling, making battery life – or lack thereof – an important concern. The Mi Power Bank will provide the battery boost your phone needs any time, any place, and comes in three sizes: a normal size (10000mAh), a slim size (5000mAh) and a newly released super-size (20000mAh). When traveling, we recommend the normal size, as it easily fits inside any carry-on bag, or even a standard clutch purse.

Photo by Virginia Xu

Due to the dual-battery cell technology, the 10000 mAh allows for 2 full charges on the Mi Note, 3.5 full charges on the iPhone 6 and 1 full charge on an iPad Mini, the perfect amount to carry you over to your connecting flight or destination.

For the avid business traveler or family needing to charge multiple products while on the go, the Mi USB Charging Hub is a must-have. Available with either two or four ports, you won’t have to choose between charging your iPad or Power Bank.

8H Travel U-Shaped Pillow

Photo by Virginia Xu

While the market is cluttered with travel pillows, our 8H Travel U-Shaped Pillow rests above the others – unparalleled materials, including natural latex for the interior and slub cotton for the exterior, give it a pliable, breathable quality. The Travel U-Shaped Pillow can contour to any neck or waist, providing comfort in an otherwise cramped airplane seat.

The pillow comes in grey or beige and easily fits inside a standard carry-on luggage.

TS Polarized Sunglasses

 

With its classic Aviator style, our TS Polarized Sunglasses are a necessity when traveling and exploring new places.

Bearing a 20 micrometer anti-scratch coating—an innovated high technology material, lenses can automatically repair slight scratches in two seconds with a temperature between 73-77 degree Fahrenheit, and 30 seconds for temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The glasses are comprised of six layers, absorbing 99% of ultraviolet rays and protecting the sunglasses from moisture and air.

Designed with consumers’ needs in mind, we are glad to do our part to make travel less stressful and more enjoyable. Just as the design team of the 90 Point Metal Luggage said, “Design is for solving problems. Our goal is very simple – to make good products with attractive prices and to make innovation available for everyone.”

Why we curated these Xiaomi apps on Mi A1, an Android One phone

Today we announced the  Mi A1 in collaboration with Google, the first Xiaomi device to run on the evolved Android One program.

As an Android One smartphone, Mi A1 comes with a software experience designed by Google, offering users a streamlined and secure Android phone that stays current over time with OS upgrades. It also comes with the most popular Google services built-in, such as free, unlimited high quality storage from Google Photos.

At the same time, we carefully curated four Xiaomi apps on Mi A1. Why did we choose these four apps?

Mi Camera app

At the beginning of our partnership with Google, we selected a model with flagship-level features that would showcase Xiaomi’s philosophy — bringing innovation to everyone. Mi A1 incorporates a dual-camera configuration similar to that in Mi 6, our latest flagship device, with wide angle and telephoto lenses for added effect.

The Xiaomi camera app on Mi A1 provides a full dual-camera experience. The two lenses allow Mi A1 to calculate what is in the foreground and what is in the background, creating a depth-of-field effect called “bokeh” that typically requires a DSLR lens to achieve, allowing the user to create beautiful photos that really make the subject stand out.

But there is one major difference between the Mi A1 and Mi 6. On Mi A1, all the photos will be stored in Google Photos and include free unlimited high quality storage. 

Mi Remote app

Before introducing this app, here are some fast facts.

  •  Xiaomi is much more than a smartphone company. We also make consumer electronics and that’s where our Mi Ecosystem strategy comes into play.
  •  Xiaomi is able to offer a wide array of smart home products, by investing and incubating in 89 companies so far.
  • Xiaomi has become the world’s largest smart hardware platform. There are over 60 million connected devices to Mi Ecosystem’s IoT platform.

Mi Remote exists within Xiaomi’s array of Mi Ecosystem products, an assortment of smart home gadgets geared toward consumers. Mi A1 includes an IR blaster, which, when paired with the Mi Remote app, can easily control many Xiaomi products around the house. Mi Remote also supports hundreds of other home appliances, acting as a universal remote in the palm of your hand.

Just open the app and point it at a TV or any other appliance that uses an IR remote, and follow the instructions on the app to pair. Once paired successfully, you can use Mi Remote to turn your TV on, control the volume, change channels, and if you’re using a Mi TV, even control the on-screen menu.

Mi Store app

The Mi Store app will be curated on Mi A1 devices in India, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This app enables users to search, browse and buy Xiaomi hardware products, including smartphones and Mi Ecosystem products, depending on availability per region. It supports multiple payment options and can track your order delivery status. 

In fact, in India, our Mi Store app is the #1 free shopping app on Google Play. It has over 20 million installs and over 100 million visits every month as per August 2017.

Feedback app

From the day Xiaomi came into existence, we’ve been all about listening to our users. Our Mi Fans play a large role in the products we make and are a key pillar in the philosophy of our company. To make it easier for fans to connect with us, we created the Feedback app. Whether you have an idea about how to make an app better, faced a bug, or just want to leave a comment, the Feedback app is the easiest way to get in touch.

We wouldn’t be where we are without our fans and their generosity in communicating with us, and it’s no exception with Mi A1.

Behind-the-scenes of our ID team, and more

In our last post with Li Ningning, senior director of ID, Mi Ecosystem, we learned about her thoughts on the Mi Ecosystem design. Now, we dive deeper into Mi Ecosystem’s ID team and its opinion and plans for Xiaomi’s design.

Tell us more about the Mi Ecosystem’s design team. 

Our team keeps growing. What started as a 2-3-person team has grown into a team of almost a dozen members.

The team is extremely diverse and our designers come from various backgrounds. Work experience is extremely important when we hire new talent and we ensure that their previous design work matches the tone of our tastes.

I trust my team, and we have team brainstorms to get initial ideas going. Then, I let the right person take over a project in which he has more interests and is more familiar with the topic. I think if you love a product, you will be more inspired and have the patience to carry through the design.

Do Mi Ecosystem designers receive any perks for impressive designs?

Xiaomi attaches more and more importance to designs and provides designers with rewards; however, what drives our designers relentlessly is the recognition from more authoritative design experts and associations.

After winning the Gold iF World Design Award and the Red Dot Best of the Best 2017 Award, our designers were given an incentive trip to Germany to see world-class industrial design. This was a great reward that will directly benefit our work.

Xiaomi invested in 89 ecosystem companies. How does the ID team solve the disagreements and conflicts among so many moving components?

We have very strict standards for quality control and we push our ecosystem companies to increase yield rates. Our designers are encouraged to go to front-line to get a better understanding of manufacturing and operation. This allows our designers and our ecosystem companies to have better mutual understanding, knowing how strict we are with our products and designs.

Some products seem simple, but require complex techniques. Take our Yeelight Beside Lamp, Mi Beside Lamp and Mi LED Desk Lamp, for example. Each lamp uses a different technique, which was more difficult than initially expected, so massive production with the same standard can’t work. We strive to overcome difficulties, by working closely with our partners and ecosystem companies to create a great product.

What do you think of Western and Eastern design styles? Are they very different or are they becoming more similar? Why?

Western and Eastern aesthetic tastes are becoming more similar. They learn from each other and add shared elements to their designs.

How long is the life span for consumer product designs?

Five years at most, but this is not the fault of designers or designs. Consumer product designs are largely affected by hardware, which updates very, very fast, so design styles have to change accordingly.

What separates Mi Ecosystem’s designs from other brands

“Mi Ecosystem has its own design style, and our designers have their own bottom-line,” according to Li Ningning, Senior Director of Industrial Design of Mi Ecosystem and the 79th employee of Xiaomi. Li shared her unique perspective on Mi Ecosystem’s design style and provided an inside look into her journey on the Xiaomi team from the company’s infancy to now.

Why did you join Xiaomi?

Xiaomi co-founder Liu De was my senior schoolmate, and almost two years after I graduated from Art Center College of Design, he came to me and asked whether I’d like to join the startup.

I learned design strategies at school, so I hoped to apply them in the workplace after graduation. I also thought it would be great to work with a group of talented people.

Frankly speaking, I didn’t consider too much and simply took a leap of faith on the opportunity. I joined Xiaomi in February of 2011, becoming its 79th employee.

How do styles of different brands in various industries look alike today?

First, I think we need to differentiate aesthetic trend from design style. Simplicity is a general aesthetic trend of our time. Most people like it, so most companies and designers follow it.

That’s why when you see today’s home decorations, fashion trends, and things in other areas, their designs are very simple. But style is different. Style can’t be copied.

How would you describe the design style of Mi Ecosystem? How does Mi Ecosystem’s design stand out among others?

I would use three words to describe Mi Ecosystem’s design style: Simple, peaceful and humble.

By simple, we are saying that 80% of our customers can accept our design style. We always use white or other neutral colors so as to suit most of our customers’ tastes.

Peaceful means that we are reasonable and efficient in balancing between designers’ professionalism and products’ functionality.

Humble means our products won’t clash aesthetically in an environment. They can easily fit in almost all kinds of home decoration styles.

Mi Ecosystem has its own style, and our designers have their own bottom-line. The first principle is to never copy. The second is that you should take pride in your own designs. If you copy others or you don’t devote yourself fully to your designs, you won’t take pride in them.

We take ourselves seriously as engineers and keep crafting our designs hundreds of times, until eventually we are satisfied.

Xiaomi’s design style and ability have been recognized by more and more authorized third-party design associations – Mi LED Desk Lamp was awarded the prestigious Gold iF World Design Award and Mi Electric Scooter won the Red Dot Best of the Best 2017 Award. What stood out to you about these two products?

Smart LED Desk Lamp’s design greatly balanced functionality and appearance. It has a maximum opening angle of 135 degrees, which is enough for all types of daily usage. The revealed red wire gives the lamp some characters. In addition, it is priced competitively at RMB 169!

Scooters used to be very bulky, but Mi Electric Scooter is not. Its body uses super light aluminum that is primarily used in the aviation industry, so it only weighs at 12.5 kg and is easy to fold.

The criteria for industrial design is subjective, but good industrial design needs to be two things: balanced and simple. Good industrial design can influence or create some changes in the industry.

What Mi Ecosystem products do you use at home?

A lot. Mi LED Desk Lamp, Mi Motion Sensor, Mi Smart Power Strip and others. They have very simple and well-knit designs.

One of my favorite products is our power strip. In the past, power strips were ugly. People didn’t realize that this device could be well designed. However, we believed that everyday products should be aesthetically pleasing and we made great efforts to innovate power strips’ designs. You can see that the three-in-one holes on Mi Power Strip are neatly aligned. We changed people’s perception about power strips and we have led the industry. Now, you can see other brands’ power strips also look better.

What’s your favorite design style?

I like very simple styles. My home decoration takes a simple design, and most of the furniture has a light color. I also prefer simply designed clothes and other fashion items.