Wednesday December 12, 2018
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Xiaomi Expands Its Brand’s Portfolio

With the purpose of strengthening its offline network further, Xiaomi aims to open 100 "Mi Home" stores in 2018.

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Xiaomi
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Friday announced that it was permanently cutting the prices of five of its handsets in India.
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 In a bid to break the notion that it is just a smartphone brand, Chinese electronics major Xiaomi has amplified its products portfolio in categories like fitness and health, smart home, smart travel and more — using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

After gaining ground as the top selling brand in the competitive Indian smartphone market, the company has ventured into the smart home category in India, by introducing air and water purifiers, projectors, security cameras, televisions and kitchen equipment, among others.

“In 2014, we began working towards our mission of not being recognised as just another smartphone company. Along with our products in the smart home portfolio, we are also venturing into the non-technology related segments like luggage, shoes, apparel and more,” Raghu Reddy, Head, Category and Online sales, Xiaomi India told IANS.

Expanding the “Mi Home” experience stores across the country, the eight-year old company lets users try, experience and provide feedback on the minimalist design philosophy-based products that have been doing well in the international markets and have the potential to do well in the Indian space as well.

Xiaomi
The smartphone maker has introduced Mi LED TV 4 PRO (55-inch), Mi LED TV 4A PRO (49-inch) and Mi LED TV 4C PRO (32-inch).

“With our partner companies in the ‘Mi Ecosystem’, Xiaomi is the largest IoT platform in the world,” said Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi Global and Managing Director, Xiaomi India.

The company has announced a new generation of AndroidTV integrated ‘Mi LED TVs’ with voice assistance, Mi Air Purifier 2S and Mi Home Security Camera 360 with “talk-back” feature at affordable prices.

“We aim to make everything inside the house a lot more smarter. We put in a lot of efforts in ensuring that if we launch something here, it is completely customised for India and that takes up a lot of time based on customer requirements in the country,” Reddy added.

Xiaomi, along with over 200 partners that are part of the “Mi Ecosystem,” curates over 115 million activated devices in segments across consumer lifestyle, smart home, travel, toys and more.

Xiaomi
Xiaomi refreshes ‘Mi TV’ series in India. (Wikimedia Commons)

Based on the users’ feedback at the experience stores and social networks, the company said it will keep customising products for the Indian users.

“The opportunities of bringing in newer products are endless. People wanted the Mi TV for long and we brought that in India with voice support. People now want us to launch laptops,” said Reddy.

In September, Xiaomi refreshed its smartphone category and launched budget-friendly devices — Redmi 6, Redmi 6A and Redmi 6 Pro smartphones along with POCO F1 in the Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 price segment.

Started with the online-only strategy, Xiaomi is now concentrating on stabilizing its presence in offline retail as well.

Also Read: Hong Kong Based Company Tecno Launches New Smartphones

At present, the company has four “Mi Home Experience Stores” in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi and 36 “Mi Home” stores across India.

With the purpose of strengthening its offline network further, Xiaomi aims to open 100 “Mi Home” stores in 2018. (IANS)

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Robots May Be Able to Perform C-Sections Soon

These big, set-piece operations will become less common as we are able to intervene earlier and use more moderate interventions

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C-section, Robots
A newborn, one of 12 babies born by C-section, cries inside an incubator at the Bunda Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 12, 2012. VOA

Robotics are expected to become so sophisticated, hospitals may not need surgeons. Controlled by healthcare assistants, the machines will soon be delivering babies by carrying out C-sections as well as other surgeries, say experts.

The predictions are based on the report by the “Commission on the Future of Surgery” set up by the Royal College of Surgeons in 2017, the Daily Mail reported.

According to the report, the robots controlled by healthcare assistants such as technicians are expected to conduct vaginal surgeries and operations on the bowel, heart and lungs.

This will help advance diagnoses of illnesses like cancer before they destroy organs and, as a result, operations will be smaller in scale and less traumatic.

Robot, Reading Companion
FILE – A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai (VOA)

Even healthcare assistants — who do not need any formal qualifications to get a job — could one day be trained to perform C-sections with the robots, The Telegraph reported.

Specialists and surgeons will remain in charge of operations but may not always need to be in the room.

“This is always going to be under the watchful eye and careful supervision of a surgeon,” Richard Kerr, neurosurgeon at the Oxford University and Chair of the commission, was quoted as saying.

“These are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure.

“The changes are expected to affect every type of operation. This will be a watershed moment in surgery,” Kerr said.

While some applications of robots and DNA-based medicines are expected to happen sooner than others, those with healthcare assistant-led C-sections is possible within five years, the report said.

C-section, Robots
These are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure. Flickr

However, the experts warn that the use of robots in surgery could be controversial. This is in light of an investigation which revealed that a 69-year-old man in Newcastle died when a robot was used to carry out his heart surgery in 2015.

The commission’s report also claims that major cancer operations could become a thing of past because screening DNA will pick up diseases earlier, before they ravage the body.

Also Read: AI  to Help the Students of Japan in Enhancing English Speaking Skills

Similarly, people with severe forms of arthritis could be identified early on and faster treatment might reduce the need for major hip and knee replacement ops.

“These big, set-piece operations will become less common as we are able to intervene earlier and use more moderate interventions,” said Professor Dion Mortonm, a member of the commission. (IANS)