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“We (not) did it”: Xiaomi failed to show the “smart” home on the MWC

The curse of live demos in a room full of enabled smartphones.

Xiaomi Wang Xiang, Head of International Business (in the center of the room)

On Sunday, February 24, Xiaomi held its own presentation in Barcelona, ​​timed to coincide with Mobile World Congress. Her slogan “We made it happen” (“We did it”) was explained by the release of more than 2 thousand different products (independently or in partnership).

The presentation was led by XIaomi International Development Head Wang Xiang. To show the ecosystem of the company’s products in action, he went to the previously curtained zone on the stage – it turned out that behind the curtains was an imitated living room equipped with Xiaomi appliances.

Wang Xiang showed how the light in the “apartment” lights up when the door is opened thanks to the sensor, and he was able to command and open the curtains on the “window”. Then he went to the Xiaomi humidifier – and he did not respond to switching on through the application, after which Wang Xiang tried to give the command to Google Assistant running on Xiaomi’s Smart TV.

However, the voice assistant on Smart TV or something else in this bundle seems to be hanging: Wang Xiang said that the humidifier is not responding to anything. For some time, he tried to try alternative ways to turn on, but to no avail: judging by his reaction, the live demo went wrong according to the plan, and he ended it by turning off the light by pressing the button at the door, and went back to the stage without showing full-fledged work “smart” home.

The next slide again appeared the slogan “We made it happen”, and Wang Xiang had no choice but to say it with restraint, although in the hall before that there was laughter over the unsuccessful presentation. The rest of his speech, Wang Xiang was clearly lost and disappointed.

Why it was not possible to hold a demonstration successfully is not known for sure, but the problem may be trivial for such events. In the presentation hall there were more than 500 techno-bloggers, journalists and ordinary users of smartphones and other wireless equipment, the radio emission from which created a powerful interference: it could be the reason that the smart devices did not “see” each other at home. A similar case is known during the presentation of the iPhone 4 in 2010, when Steve Jobs demanded from journalists to turn off all his Wi-Fi technology from the stage so that smartphones on the stage could work correctly.

However, after Van Xiang’s speech, colleague Donovan San showed a video call through a special version of Mi MIX 3 with 5G network support: according to him, a real-time section of a 5G network was launched in partnership with the Orange operator. The call through 5G was successful, but the problems resumed later: the demo video of the new Mi 9 smartphone hung a few seconds after the launch, and Donovan Sanu had to go to the main part of the presentation.

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