“We anticipate social distancing to be around for a longer timeframe and any device that helps drive social distancing at home will find their way into people’s households. We believe this category [Smart Home] is one such category,” he said.
“If you want to minimise the number of people touching various connected devices in the house, and if you have access to these kinds of devices, it helps you achieve that objective to a certain extent,” Reddy added.
The concept of a smarter home where air purifiers, lights, vacuum cleaners, or speakers can be controlled remotely using a smartphone is slowly gaining popularity. The market is not fully matured, though.
Reddy thinks a device like the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P robotic vacuum cleaner would make a lot of sense for urban homes. Not only is the vacuum cleaner easy to operate but it also reduces our dependence on domestic help. The device was recently launched through Xiaomi’s crowdfunding platform.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, Xiaomi is extending the crowdfunding from May 7 till June 15. This will allow the customers in the red zones who are not able to place orders to now buy the device. Initially, Xiaomi said it will manufacture the device only when it hit a goal of 10,000 units. However, now, there are no such requirements. Reddy says consumers can directly pre-order the robotic vacuum cleaner.
The shipments, according to Reddy, will begin in September. As an early bird offer, the Mi robotic vacuum cleaner costs Rs 17,999, making it one of the cheapest connected vacuum cleaners in the market. Post that, consumers will be able to pre-order the device for Rs 19,999 from June 16 to July 15 and at a price of Rs 21,999 from July 16 to August 15.
Reddy says Xiaomi will expand the smart home devices portfolio in India, though he did not mention what device he plans to bring to the market next.
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