Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is further opening up its Artificial + Internet of Things (IoT) platform (AIoT) to third-party developers.
At its annual MIDC Conference in Beijing on November 28, 2018, it announced a strategic partnership with Swedish furniture retailer Ikea to develop products for the smart home.
Under the deal, the two companies will introduce a full range of smart lighting products, which will be connected to Xiaomi’s IoT platform starting this month in China.
IKEA’s full range of smart lighting products will also be connected to the platform and can be controlled via Xiaomi products, including Xiao Ai voice assistant and the Mi Home app.
The lights can be paired as well with other Xiaomi IoT smart devices such as sensors and electrical appliances for smart scene management.
The agreement was the first time Ikea has partnered with a Chinese technology company, but Ikea’s smart lighting products were already compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
Anna Pawlak-Kuliga, CEO and president of IKEA Retail China, said in a media statement that the two companies will benefit from the partnership by enabling smarter solutions for the home.
Data released at the conference by Lei Jun, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Xiaomi Corporation, shows that the Xiaomi IoT platform has connected more than 132 million smart devices, excluding mobile phones and laptops. It has more than 20 million daily active devices in more than 200 countries and regions around the world, as of September 30, 2018.
Xiaomi has been enticing developers to build on AI and IoT since the inaugural MIDC conference in 2017 when it launched the Xiaomi IoT Developer Program.
Third-party developers were given access to the Mi Home platform for controlling smart home scenarios with cloud + AI + big data capabilities.
Since then, Xiaomi said over 1,000 third-party products have been incorporated into the Xiaomi IoT platform, which allowed the Xiao Ai voice assistant to perform over 1,300 types of tasks.
In its third quarter earnings report, Xiaomi disclosed that as of September 2018, its AI assistant (“小愛同學”) had more than 34 million monthly active users. The number of connected IoT devices on Xiaomi’s IoT platform reached approximately 132 million units, an increase of 13.8 percent from the previous quarter.
According to Xiomi, there are now about 1.98 million users who owned more than five Xiaomi IoT devices, excluding smartphones and laptops, which represent an increase of 16.5 percent quarter-on-quarter.
At the MIDC conference this year, the company announced that it will invest RMB 100 million (US$14.3 million) to build the “Xiaomi AIoT Developer Fund,” which will be used to support AI developers, hardware equipment manufacturers, and AI technology companies.