Xiaomi to launch debut drone on May 25

xiaomi drone
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.

Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Mobile

New Galaxy S10 leaks showcase display sizes, confirm headphone jack return

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Emerging Tech

Alphabet’s ‘Wing’ delivery drones are on their way to Europe

Google-parent Alphabet is taking its "Wing" drone delivery project to Helsinki in Finland. The move follows 18 months of trials in Australia, and gives the team the chance to test its technology in a harsh winter climate.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.
Giveaways

Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.