Xiaomi unveils product with security sensors in smart-home push

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BEIJING: Xiaomi Corp unveiled a new product called the Smart Home Suite with a group of four components that offer security features as it broadens its range of devices that can be controlled by mobile phone.

The suite includes a human motion sensor, and a pair of door and window sensors that can be used for home security, Xiaomi president Bin Lin said yesterday at the GeekPark Innovation Festival in Beijing. The company will start a consumer test of the product on Jan 26, he said.

“In the past, motion sensors were very complicated and large in size, so that if you wanted a system you needed professional installation,” Lin told the conference. “For this suite, there is not a single nail or wire. These components are all very simple.”

Xiaomi in less than five years has grown to become the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor and, at US$45 billion (RM159.75 billion), the most-valuable technology start-up. Now, chief executive officer Lei Jun is pushing into Web-enabled devices for the home even as it challenges Samsung Electronics Corp and Apple Inc at the higher end of the mobile-device market.

The suite also offers a wireless switching device for controlling appliances, and a multifunctional gateway that links the components with other devices by WiFi, allowing control by mobile phone.

The market for Internet-connected appliances will grow to US$7.1 trillion by 2020, from US$1.9 trillion last year, estimates market researcher International Data Corp.

Xiaomi was founded in 2010 to make software for mobile devices running Google Inc’s Android system. The company subsequently released products including a tablet computer, a television set-top box and TVs that connect to the Web. — Bloomberg

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 19, 2015.