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Xiaomi Unveils Budget-Friendly Mi Drone, $460 For 4K Or $380 For 1080p (theverge.com) 55

An anonymous reader writes: Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi has officially journeyed into the drones product category. The Xiaomi Mi Drone is a quadcopter with a three-axis gimbal, 4K camera, and a remote control that uses your Mi smartphone as a viewfinder. The 4K version retails for about $460 while the 1080p model retails for about $380. When compared to drones from DJI or Yuneec, the Mi Drone seriously undercuts them as they typically retail for more than $1,000. Some other features of the Mi Drone center around modularity and serviceability -- the camera module and rotors are detachable. The 5,100 mAh battery that Xiaomi claims can last 27 minutes of continuous flight time on a single charge is also replaceable. It uses GPS and GLONASS for positioning. It even features a visual positioning system on the rear that allows itself to remain stable when flying at low altitudes in environments where a satellite signal cannot be reached. Some of the autonomous flight modes include: takeoff, landing, return to home, waypoint navigation and orbit, with the ability to create a geofence to limit its movement. The 1080p Mi Drone "will be crowdfunded on the Mi Hope app starting May 26, 2016," while the 4K Mi Drone "will be available for testing via an open beta program at the end of July." With such an affordable price tag relative to the competition, the Xiaomi Mi Drone may help increase revenues for the company whose sales barely grew last year.
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Xiaomi Unveils Budget-Friendly Mi Drone, $460 For 4K Or $380 For 1080p

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  • uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Thursday May 26, 2016 @05:47AM (#52185887) Homepage Journal

    So, let me get this straight, a major electronics company brings out a new product - and crowdfunds it? Seriously?

    • by Tx ( 96709 )

      In the same way that some successful musicians have tried crowd-funding albums and projects, it's more of a marketing gimmick than a way of funding it per se. You get a whole bunch of people interested in the thing, and mostly committed to buying it, you create buzz as people follow the status of the crowd-funding campaign, and if you're particularly successful with the campaign and blow past your funding target in no time, that creates yet more hype. And in this case it sounds like you need to install thei

    • that's the only notable thing about this slashvertisment?
    • Xiaomi is all about the hype. They see themselves as the Chinese Apple. Up to and including their chairman wearing a black turtleneck. Xiaomi's MIUI phone OS looks just like Apple's (and they ripped off GNU code and refused to release their changes). They copy Apple every way they can - in China this isn't seen as pathetic me-tooism, it's seen as clever because you're copying someone who is successful. Xiaomi is notorious for releasing only a small amount of product at launch and providing no other way

      • Oh, DJI (Xiamoi's competitor in the drone space) is the same. The CEO has even said he wants to be the Chinese version of Apple and they stuffed Apple stores with their latest offering*. They are plagiarizing the plagiarist.

        It's copying all the way down.

        * Which is actually impressively ironic since the Apple store has a much better refund / replace policy than the DJI store and if you have the slightest clue, you won't buy directly from DJI.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Xiaomi is all about the hype. They see themselves as the Chinese Apple. Up to and including their chairman wearing a black turtleneck. Xiaomi's MIUI phone OS looks just like Apple's (and they ripped off GNU code and refused to release their changes). They copy Apple every way they can - in China this isn't seen as pathetic me-tooism, it's seen as clever because you're copying someone who is successful. Xiaomi is notorious for releasing only a small amount of product at launch and providing no other way to b

    • I think that it's a mixture of "preorder" and "hype mechanism"; along with a convenient way to test demand. Plus, if you can get suckers to loan you money for an indeterminate time without guarantee of payback or any expectation of return on investment, why not?

      I find the process rather seedy; but It's hard to argue with the pragmatic-evil reasons for doing it.
    • by gnupun ( 752725 )

      Perhaps crowdfunding sites should ban corps that exceed a certain market cap, say $100 million, from participating. Crowdfunding should be limited to small companies trying to bootstrap.

      • Perhaps crowdfunding sites should ban corps that exceed a certain market cap, say $100 million, from participating. Crowdfunding should be limited to small companies trying to bootstrap.

        Yes, this. Whenever you are annoyed with something or you think it is unseemly somehow, it should definitely be banned. Definitely use the power of law to smack down people using marketing techniques that you think should only be used by companies that are one person smaller, or one dollar poorer in revenue, than the company you don't like. Ban! Ban ban ban. Where is our powerful Bannocrat leader when we need her? Save us from things we don't like the sound of, dear leader!

        Or, you know, you could just i

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        I'm not so much upset about the misuse of crowdfunding. I wonder what it says about a major corporation if they can't (or don't want to) fund their own product development.

    • So, let me get this straight, a major electronics company brings out a new product - and crowdfunds it? Seriously?

      Hey, there's no shortage of suckers that will buy into it. I would bet that Exxon could find idiots to crowdfund a refinery. At the $10-level, you get a t-shirt and a certificate of appreciation.

  • and a remote control that uses [a] Mi smartphone as a viewfinder.

    Only Mi phones?

    • i agree, it should be able to use any android device (smartphone or tablet) as a viewfinder screen to capture live video and record it on the fly (no pun intended) tying it to only one particular brand of phone sounds fishy like they are really wanting to sell phones too
  • has officially journeyed into the drones product category.
    A new line of business is not a bloody trip to the mines of Moria. Anonymous, the word you seek is "entered," Always use the simplest wordng to avoid looking stupid.

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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