Xiaomi looks set to launch its own consumer drone, according to a post by the Chinese tech firm on its official forum. It’ll mark the company’s entry into the increasingly competitive and fast-expanding drone market, and in time could give established rivals like DJI and Yuneec a run for their money.
The big unveil is lined up for Wednesday, May 25, and beyond a close-up image of the flying machine showing what appears to be a spherical camera and part of the frame, details are scant. Recently leaked tidbits suggest the camera likely records 4K video, while the flying machine could also use the Mi band – or something very similar – as a beacon for “follow me” functionality.
“Something wonderful and cool is flying to us very soon,” a Xiaomi moderator proclaims in the teaser post, which also asks us to guess the name of its debut copter. Mi Drone would be the obvious choice, but the company uses that name in the post’s title, so how about Mi Copter … or Mi Flyer, perhaps?
OK, more important than the name are the specs and the cost. With its Android devices, Xiaomi has already established a reputation for delivering quality products at attractive price points, and there’s no reason why it won’t do the same with its drone.
Of course, whether it lands in the U.S. market anytime soon is another question. The company’s mobile devices still aren’t available through direct channels in the U.S., though the reasons it’s given for steering clear of the States – differences in business practices and issues related to handset-specific technology – don’t relate to drones, so it could be flying to a store near you sooner than you think. Be sure to check back on May 25 for more details.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Xiaomi. Beside the expected drone, it recently announced the Mi Box, a 4K Android TV-powered set-top box; the Mi Max, a mighty big smartphone; and promised to launch phones for Daydream, Google’s just-announced VR platform set for launch in the fall.