The consumer drone market is getting crowded. On May 25, the long-held rumors will become reality when Xiaomi unveils its first consumer drone/quadcopter. Details are sparse, but the company has an official forum thread where fans can guess the name of the drone.
Considering the company’s history of naming everything Mi ‘something,’ having the thread titled ‘Mi Drone’ was probably not the best of ideas.
May has already been a stacked month for the Chinese consumer electronics company. It has launched the Mi Max smartphone and announced the US release of the Mi Box streamer. See? Either Xiaomi is poking fun at themselves, or we can expect the drone to be dubbed Mi Drone.
The only details out of the company before the May 25th event is the following pitch:
Something wonderful and cool is flying to us very soon. A Bamboo-copter? In China, it’s the earliest flying toys consisted of feathers at the end of a stick, which was rapidly spun between the hands and released into flight.
Well, we know what it will look like at least. Not exactly coy with the imagery pushing the event.
With most consumer drones incorporating a ‘follow me’ feature, could we see something that makes use of the company’s Mi Band?
Consumer and prosumer drones live and die by the camera. 4K is a near certainty. Xiaomi would be hard pressed to release one without that capability. One interesting note about the promo picture is the gimbal. Could we be looking at retractable landing gear with full 360-degree movement?
Let us hope. Competition breeds innovation, so I’m all for tech companies duking it out to be number one in the niche.
Battery life is another concern of every enthusiast. What are we looking at in terms of real-world flight time? Not everything is turned off, and it’s lazily flying around.
And price. For the US, I’d hedge in the $1200 range depending on features. It could go the way of the DJI Phantom series and introduce multiple models to hit various price points.
Xiaomi May 25th Event
The company is planning to reveal all on the 25th at 7 am ET / 12 pm BST at Mi.com. Head over the company’s forum to wildly speculate about the drone.