When Xiaomi unveiled its “smart water purifier” last week, it was comepletely overshadowed by the new Xiaomi 4K TV. The device was met with surprise and muted ridicule – after all do we need our water purifiers to be “smart”?
It is supposed to sit in the kitchen and turn tap water into drinking water. The device is branded as being smart because it is part of Xiaomi’s Mi Home network, meaning customers can check its settings and recent activity and get alerts when replacement filters are needed.
Xiaomi vice-president Hugo Barra said in a Facebook post: "This is a product we'd LOVE to bring to India soon — Mi Water Purifier. Just announced today, it makes tap water drinkable with Reverse Osmosis (RO), is super compact, shows real-time water quality, and reminds you on your smartphone when it's time to replace the filter."
The Mi water purifier, priced at 1,299 Yuan (approximately Rs 13,000), has been developed with Yunmi Technology. The purifier uses reverse osmosis, the same process used for bottled pure water filtration, desalinization and medical water.
There are four filters — a cotton filter, two activated coconut carbon filters and a RO membrane. While the first filter cleans sediment rust, and other such impurities from water, the carbon filters reduce discoloration and odour and improve the taste, while the RO membrane filters heavy metals, bacteria and other organic matter.
Just like other products of Xiaomi's connected ecosystem, the purifier can be controlled via smartphone. An installed app gives real-time data on the purity of the water and reminds users to change the filters. The water purifier is smaller and more compact than similar products and eight times faster than a standard purifier.
Xiaomi also offers a blood pressure test unit, smart light bulbs, an air purifier, $20 routers and other connected home devices.