Xiaomi, the global technology leader, officially kicked off its annual Mi Developer Conference (MIDC 2020) in Beijing today. At the event themed “Technology for Life”, Xiaomi showcased major breakthroughs in numerous fields spanning camera, display, charging, IoT, smart manufacturing, and more. Behind Xiaomi’s remarkable technological achievements, especially those in the camera domain, is Xiaomi’s continuous investment in R&D and talent recruitment. A young company that has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, Xiaomi has allocated over 10 billion RMB to its R&D fund this year, joining the ranks of the top 20 Chinese companies in terms of R&D investment.
“We believe people are at the foundation of any innovation. When strengthening our technological competence, we should always start with finding the best people. Currently, Xiaomi has over 10,000 talented members in its engineering team and is planning to recruit 5,000 more in 2021, despite the global pandemic, ” said Lei Jun, Chairman, and CEO of Xiaomi, “my wish for the next decade is to build Xiaomi into the dream company of every engineer, and we will reinforce our strategy of talent cultivation and team composition.”
Introducing Retractable Wide-aperture Lens Technology
In recent years, image quality has been a major focus of smartphone manufacturers. Drawing inspiration from traditional camera designs, Xiaomi introduced its latest self-developed, Retractable Wide-aperture Lens Technology. A retractable optical structure is designed to compactly lodge within the smartphone and can extend out when needed. This design allows the retractable telescopic camera to have a larger aperture to increase the amount of light input by 300%, as well as showcase better performance in portrait photography and night photography compared to currently-used camera structures. It also incorporates a new image stabilization technology that offers a larger anti-shake angle, making the images more stable, and increasing sharpness by 20%.
Xiaomi will continue to integrate these professional imaging technologies into smartphone photography, bringing professional photography to hundreds of millions of smartphone users around the world, and adding on to Xiaomi’s portfolio of imaging technology breakthroughs.
Mi Smart Factory
Mi Smart Factory marks yet another milestone on Xiaomi’s path to smart manufacturing. At MIDC, Xiaomi made public its recent progress and R&D results. In particular, it was revealed that Xiaomi Smart Factory is now able to operate fully automatically 24/7 swiftly switching production lines every 20 minutes in order to improve efficiency.
Xiaomi Smart Factory boasts the industry’s first one-key calibration, line switch function, and is also the first to adopt the linear automatic product testing line with high flexibility. According to Lei Jun, Smart Factory epitomizes Xiaomi’s dream to elevate China’s smart manufacturing capability and increase manufacturing efficiency for all Xiaomi partners.
“Technology for Life means a lot to us. It not only conveys a sense of beauty, a certain attitude towards life, and collateral of human wisdom, but also stands for our resolution to explore the future, our passion for open source, and promises to defend information security and privacy – it is the ultimate motivation for each one of our engineers,” stated Cui Baoqiu, VP and Chairman of the Xiaomi Technology Committee “the Smartphone x AIoT strategy empowers us to leverage Xiaomi smartphones as smart terminals that connect multiple ecosystem products that are deeply associated with our everyday life. And with Xiaomi Smart Factory, we will be able to largely improve the smartphone production rate while reducing costs, and thus continue to offer products with the best price-performance ratio.”
As the leader in IoT with over 271 million connected devices, Xiaomi now serves 55.99 million users worldwide.
Xiaomi Share Development Framework
The key idea behind the Xiaomi Share’s Development Framework is to integrate a series of smart hardware and operating systems that come with different capabilities into a co-working network. So at MIDC 2020, Xiaomi also introduced the Xiaomi Share Development Framework with two function modules: Collaboration Kit and MiPay Kit. Developers will be able to use device collaboration and screencasting features on third-party devices, instead of only being limited to Xiaomi developed products and applications. Xiaomi Share Development Framework will continue to open up more function modules such as NFC Tap kit, Relay kit, FileShare kit for developers in the future.
Xiaomi Vela integrated IoT software platform and XiaoAi AI Assistant 5.0
With the introduction of Xiaomi Vela, an integrated IoT software platform, developers will be able to access a vast variety of software components and easy-to-use frameworks, which will further strengthen Xiaomi’s IoT foundation.
Xiaomi Vela offers four advantages: high cost-effectiveness, tailorability, code reusability, and high integrity. In the future, the platform will be the first to land on Xiaomi’s IoT module and realize support for most categories of smart home devices through it. At the same time, Xiaomi is developing the software framework and components needed to support applications such as smart speakers, smart bands, and smart watches, and will be gradually implementing them on other devices. The release of Xiaomi Vela will create more value for upstream chip manufacturers and downstream equipment manufacturers, preparing the ground for win-win cooperation.
Aside from Vela, Xiaomi also introduced the next generation of XiaoAi AI assistant – XiaoAi AI assistant 5.0, offering full-scenario intelligent collaboration, conversational active intelligence, customized voice with emotions, multi-modal visual capabilities, and smart learning assistance. With these capabilities, XiaoAi AI assistant has transformed from a traditional AI assistant into a smart living assistant.
Behind the evolution of XiaoAi is the continuous development of Xiaomi’s AI technology. Cui Baoqiu said that the performance of Xiaomi’s AutoML model has surpassed that of the industry, and XiaoAi is one of the busiest artificial intelligences in the world.
Thanks to Xiaomi’s forward-looking ecosystem layout, smart hardware products also provide fertile ground for Xiaomi’s AI technology. In the past year, Xiaomi has made technological breakthroughs in the fields of AI vision, acoustics, speech, natural language processing, knowledge graphs, and machine learning.
With the release of the Xiaomi Vela IoT platform, the new upgrade of XiaoAI AI assistant 5.0, and the launch of a large number of AI technology applications, Xiaomi’s AIoT ecosystem will continue to thrive and create the best life experience for consumers.
Embracing open source
At the conference, Xiaomi also announced the official open sourcing of the MACE Micro microcontroller AI framework, allowing more AIoT devices to be equipped with high-performance AI capabilities. Xiaomi has embraced the open source ecosystem and has made outstanding contributions to many projects – after the famous microkernel operating system Nuttx joined the Apache Software Foundation, Xiaomi accounted for 33% of the total contribution; at the same time, Xiaomi’s contribution to the open source database HBase in 2020 has reached 25%, and Xiaomi’s self-developed distributed Key-Value storage system Pegasus has entered the Apache incubator, bringing it a step closer to becoming a top open source project.
Xiaomi’s Chief Speech Scientist Daniel Povey brought XiaoAi AI assistant’s speech recognition ability to a whole new level. During last MIDC, he announced that the new generation of his open-source speech recognition toolkit, Kaldi, will support PyTorch and TensorFlow, and showcased the technical architecture of Kaldi for the first time: including k2 (core algorithm), Lhotse (for preparing training data), and Icefall (collection of sample scripts). Like the original Kaldi, the new generation of Kaldi will continue to support GPU training.
In the last decade, Xiaomi has persisted in technological innovation, focusing on improving the lives of users. In its early days, Xiaomi successfully introduced an internet model into its smartphone business; six years ago, Xiaomi introduced the same model into its ecosystem business, allowing it to greatly improve product quality; in addition, Xiaomi continues to explore and innovate in various fields such as charging and display form factors. Xiaomi is using this to influence various verticals and promote quality and efficiency across the entire manufacturing industry, thereby realizing and reinforcing its vision of innovation for everyone.
About Xiaomi Corporation
Xiaomi Corporation was founded in April 2010 and listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on July 9, 2018 (1810.HK). Xiaomi is an internet company with smartphones and smart hardware connected by an Internet of Things (IoT) platform at its core.
With an equal emphasis on innovation and quality, Xiaomi continuously pursues a high-quality user experience and operational efficiency. The company relentlessly builds amazing products with honest prices to let everyone in the world enjoy a better life through innovative technology.
Xiaomi is currently the world’s third-largest smartphone brand, and has established the world’s leading consumer IoT platform, with 271 million smart devices connected to its platform, excluding smartphones and laptops. Xiaomi products are present in more than 90 markets around the world.
In August 2020, the company made the Fortune Global 500 list for the second time, ranking 422nd, up 46 places compared to last year. It also ranked 7th among internet companies on the list. In May 2020, the company made the Forbes Global 2000 List again, and its ranking jumped to 384th.
Xiaomi is a constituent of the Hang Seng Index, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index and Hang Seng TECH Index.
For more information about the company, please visit https://blog.mi.com/en/.