China’s Xiaomi Technologies has been known largely as a smartphone maker, with popular offerings like the Mi 5 and the Redmi Note 3. The company, however, has been diversifying rapidly into new product categories, launching IoT and smart home automation products like air-conditioners and bedside lamps in its home market. Just earlier this week, Xiaomi took yet another step towards becoming a more diversified consumer tech company with the launch of its first-generation Mi Notebook Air laptops that borrow heavily from Apple’s MacBook design aesthetics but are priced significantly lower. At the same event, Xiaomi also launched an all-new smartphone called the Redmi Pro, which is the company's most expensive Redmi-branded device till date and promises to offer a decent performance at an attractive price-point.
However, Xiaomi may yet have a lot more in store if latest reports out of China are anything to go by. That’s because the company’s official Weibo account has now posted teasers about its first-generation VR product that is believed to have been in the pipeline for months now. The teasers suggest that the headset is likely to be launched on August 1, but the text, as seen in the images, is almost entirely in Chinese, so it isn’t immediately evident if the company has any plans to launch the device outside of its home country. Sections of the online tech media in the country are also reporting that Xiaomi wants to hit the ground running with its VR headset, which is why the company may also release a ton of software and audiovisual content to make sure that buyers have enough VR content at their disposal right away.
Virtual reality has been the buzzword in the consumer tech industry over the past couple of years and a whole bunch of technology companies, ranging from established multinationals like Samsung, Sony and HTC to internet giants like Google and Facebook, have all invested heavily in VR over the past few years. However, they are not the only ones with products in the emerging sector. A large number of small tech firms are also launching their own offerings in the segment, which now has products ranging from under $10 for basic, Google Cardboard-inspired devices to more sophisticated headsets like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, both of which cost several times as much.