Is there anything Xiaomi hasn’t gotten into? Short of making its own smart, self-driving car, the Chinese superstar company practically has its fingers in almost every segment in the consumer tech market, either directly or through partner manufacturers. From smartphones to smart TVs to smart air conditioning units to smart rice cookers, Xiaomi almost has it all. So when rumors and now an official teaser, show up about Xiaomi making its drone, we’re not exactly shocked. Because sure, why not. Almost everyone has a drone-ish product nowadays anyway.
That Xiaomi is making a drone is probably as unusual as Samsung making mirrors that double as monitors, which is to say, it’s not unusual at all. Xiaomi has made it no secret that it intends to spread as much as it can in the tech market, which today includes even living rooms and kitchens thanks to the all pervasive Internet of Things. Xiaomi either makes those extra devices itself or partners with a different manufacturer and simply sells it as part of its Mi Ecosystem.
It’s not yet known which path Xiaomi has taken with this drone. In fact, there is very little known about this drone at all. There are few details about its size, for example, which can range from hulking masses like DJI Phantom’s drones to those no bigger than your hand. A few breadcrumbs were dropped here and there, however, that paints a rather interesting picture.
Xiaomi was reported to have patented a drone that was basically tethered to a smart wristband. Most drones have some form of connection with smartphones, either for photography or for flight control, including “Follow Me” functionality. Putting that connection on a smartband offers a bit more convenience for the user. Curiously, the user could also shake or roll the band in order to direct the flight of the drone.
Another tidbit that was recently revealed was through the accidentally published Xiaomi drone app, which has then been taken down already. That app revealed that the drone would be capable of 4K video recording, which would mean it has a rather powerful camera built-in. That could potentially mean that Xiaomi’s drone is going to be on the upper tiers of the market. But, given this is Xiaomi we’re talking about, also probably dirt cheap.
There is now little doubt that Xiaomi is coming up with a drone, especially after an official teaser that doesn’t really say much. The bigger question in the global market’s mind is whether it will fly to other markets as well, particularly in the US. So far, Xiaomi has resisted officially bringing its smartphones to the US, preferring to first sell accessories and merchandise. With a drone probably falling under “accessory or merchandise”, perhaps Xiaomi would actually make it available in the US as well.
Xiaomi is scheduled to unveil this drone on May 25 and the event will be live streamed. Wouldn’t it be fitting if it were streamed from the drone’s perspective as well? Maybe they will, so stay tuned!