Xiaomi plans $1.5 billion push into AI-powered smart home

17 de Enero, 2019

Tiempo estimado de lectura: 2 minutos

The company, which is best known for low-priced smartphones, is looking to build on its existing AI capabilities and use a range of first-party and partner devices to offer greater in-home automation for consumers

This new initiative comes as the smartphone market flounders, especially in Xiaomi’s core market of China.  The company’s new strategy relies on two simultaneous and co-dependent efforts:

It’s funding smart home startups and building a range of partnerships with existing manufacturers to create a stable of devices for consumers. The former tactic continues an effort begun in 2013, when the company pledged to fund at least 100 startups, and these ventures have contributed to the company’s growing ecosystem of compatible devices. The latter, meanwhile, has led to partnerships with companies including TCL and Ikea to allow consumers to choose smart home and smart appliance options that can function within Xiaomi’s ecosystem. As the technology company develops its AI-based services, this range of devices will make the ecosystem more attractive to both consumers and other potential partners.

«Xiaomi is working to expand its AI capabilities to enable automation in the home through these devices»

Like other companies, much of this effort is anchored around the company’s smart speaker and AI voice assistant, dubbed “Xiao AI,” which has over 100 million installations between smartphones and smart speakers like the Mi AI. The voice assistant is meant to both control smart devices and provide Xiaomi with data on its users’ preferences so that the company can start to predict them and change device settings proactively rather than just in response to a command. And thanks to its new partnerships, this would extend to all sorts of things around the home, including appliances.

Pivoting to the smart home could help companies like Xiaomi weather possible changes to the smartphone market. Nearly all consumers globally who have the desire and means to buy a smartphone have done so, and devices have reached a point where users aren’t necessarily locked into the two-year upgrade cycle that had dominated the industry and fueled growth for device manufacturers.

One key advantage to moving into the smart home market is that these companies can take advantage of existing smartphone and mobile services customers by offering them additional opportunities to move deeper into an ecosystem they’re already using, while also leveraging data they already have to provide consumers with a better experience than a competitor might. Given how important consumers think smart home technology will be in the coming years, establishing a presence in the market segment now could pay dividends down the line.

Fuente: businessinsider.com

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