The History of Huami – Manufacturer of Xiaomi’s Wearables

by Vishal Toshiwal 2

Whenever there is a talk about wearables in Asian countries, it is likely that Xiaomi would be a part of it. Apart from being a smartphone manufacturer, the company has an IOT Platform named MIJIA, which was introduced earlier this year. Though, the most significant business that company is doing apart from smartphone business is in the wearable industry. Since the last couple of years, the wearables arena has seen a lot of traction in terms of people looking forward to monitoring their health with these activity trackers. Thus, it was obvious to see a large volume of demand from consumers. Xiaomi’s fitness arm known as Huami is second to the Fitbit in terms of the global sales volumes of wearable devices.

Huami, a leading manufacturer of affordable & stylish wearables, is Headquartered in Beijing, China. It is best known as a manufacturing partner to Xiaomi. Apart from having headquartered in Beijing, it has offices in Hefei and Shenzhen as well as a foreign presence in the United States. The company was founded in 2014 and touts itself as the second largest manufacturer of wearables in the world. Huang Wang is the founder and CEO of Huami, who is a serial entrepreneur that has led the embedded software and hardware team with over 15 years of research and development experience in the industry.

For your information, apart from Xiaomi being an exclusive partner to the Huami for manufacturing it’s Mi Bands and other wearables, the Chinese smartphone maker is an investor as well. As listed on Huami’s official website, the smartphone maker invested an undisclosed amount in Huami Technology two years ago, which is when the company was founded. Since then Huami has raised up to 35$ Million from investors like Sequoia, Morningside, and Banyan Capital. Reportedly, the company has a potential value between $800 Million to $1 Billion.

Products – Wearables & Beyond

Talking about the products Huami has a number of wearables in the market that are being manufactured by the company, while they recently started their own brand Amazfit, the company has created several products for Xiaomi named Mi Band, Mi Band 2 and Smart Shoes. According to the report from IDC (International Data Corporation) the company has sold more than 25 million Mi Bands as per second quarterly report of 2016. That is why Huami is being touted as the second largest player in the wearable device market just behind Fitbit, along with Xiaomi, since they have together inked an exclusive partnership deal.

Mi Band

Xiaomi Mi Band 1S

This $13 wristband was announced by the company in August 2014, since then it has seen three iterations up until now. Sporting variety of sensors and features ranging from Pedometer, Heart Rate Monitor, and OLED Display. Till this date, Mi Band offers the longest battery life of up to 30 days; it is an activity tracker that doesn’t need to be worried for battery life. Initially, it was launched in China and then later saw availability in seven markets in Asia as well as other countries including France, Germany, UK & US. The second iteration called as Mi Band 1S had heart rate monitor, which for obvious reasons put the battery life at 10 days, still better than most competitors. The third iteration Mi Band 2 was launched in June 2016, which is the ultimate package from company priced at $15 (149 Yuan). Talking briefly about the specifications, the company has incorporated the Photoplethysmography (PPG) for accurate heart rate tracking. It should be noted that there is an updated pedometer algorithm applied in this iteration that allows the gathering of better fitness and sleep data. On top of that, there is an IP67 certified rating for water resistance. For your information, Huami has designed and manufactured these Mi Bands.

Mi Smart Scale

li-ning-logo

In March 2015, the company announced Mi Smart Scale, which is again a Xiaomi branded product but the design and manufactured by Huami Technology. This smart personal weighing scale can make measurements ranging from 5K to 150 Kg. It is claimed that the scale has a 100 g precision and that it shows weight in Kg and Lbs on the graphical LED display. It should be paired with Mi Fit app, which pairs with Mi Band, there users can track their eight and BMI. The Mi Smart Scale is equipped with a Bluetooth 4.0 and is said to be compatible with both Android and iOS. It has auto user identification feature and can detect whether the person standing is a child or an adult on the scale. It can store up to 16 user profiles and identifies each family member.

Li-Ning Smart Shoes

mi-smart-scale

In July 2015, Xiaomi partnered up with Li-Ning, the largest sports shoe maker in China to introduce a new line of Smart Shoes. These pair of trainers measures users’ running performance and are design for athletes or people who take up jogging as a serious measure to stay healthy. The shoe includes a module along with a set of sensors placed under the sole. It can track data to show the distance covered, steps taken, burned calories as well as other heath-related information. These shoes are said to be shock absorbers; it can absorb different impact force and thus effectively protect your feet. The company claims that it offers eight major elements that make this smart running shoes worthy of the pricing 199 Yuan and 399 Yuan. Those major elements include Lightness, Breathability, Durability, Road holding ability, Stability, Cushioning effect, Flexibility, and Grip. Just as stated for Mi Bands, these Smart Shoes are developed by Huami Technology and are labeled as Xiaomi’s product. Unfortunately, these are not sold by Xiaomi’s online commerce website but are available only at Li-Ning stores. Sporting military grade sensors they will not fail for at least 12 months.

Amazfit – Personal Sub-Brand

amazfit_logo

In 2016, Amazfit came into existence as the plans to expand business from East to West and competitors with the likes of big names such as Fitbit and Jawbone. Which is why after getting funding from investors Huami released their own brand of wearables. Setup in California of United States, the Huami Inc. has a set of products that has been awarded IF Design & Reddot Award, which are most prestigious awards for design. It has a line up of fashion activity trackers including the Moonbeam, Equator, ARC and a recently introduced GPS enabled SmartWatch named PACE. What’s common in all of these wearables manufactured by Huami is that they come with elegant design and efficient battery life in their class of product. Taking a faith in moving towards fashionable activity trackers Amazfit has various types of fitness trackers that would attract an audience who are interested in wearing activity trackers to the social gatherings. They can flaunt these accessories, and no-one would notice that they are disguised as the fitness trackers monitoring their health even when they are socializing.

International Business

The Huami has a presence in the United States, which is the only international office company has outside China where they have offices in three places including Beijing, Hefei, and Shenzhen. The journey started from east to west when the wearables under Amazfit got international attention from various media publications as well as individual experts in the wearable industry. Looking at Huami’s approach to design and feature priced under an affordable price, it was obvious that anybody would want their products to be officially sold in the country. And then there’s a barrier of importing from China; you would receive a Chinese language model with app and instructions in Chinese. Unless you’re good in even reading Chinese, it would be a convenient way of getting your hands on with Amazfit’s wearables, especially the Smart Watch with the display. Which is why looking at the demands, Huami set up their shop in the United States.

Though the brand hasn’t brought all of the variants of their wearable line up in the western country, but they will slowly evolve things depending upon the demands of the US consumers. For now the company hasn’t shared any plans to further expansion in the states or any other continent for that matter. An interesting fact is that Huami being Xiaomi’s partner for wearable manufacturing, the brand has an indirect presence and getting a good name as the Mi Bands are popular among peers who are looking for longer battery life on their activity trackers.

India Presence

Currently, the company has an international presence in the United States only, and they haven’t announced any plans to open their shop in India yet. But it wouldn’t take much time to understand that India has a significant potential when it comes to affordable products in a popular category. And yes fitness awareness is happening in the country as we speak. So, you might expect Huami’s Amazfit range of wearables land in the country sometimes in a year or so. Let’s hope they come sooner.

Note: We will be updating this post as per any new activities happens regarding the Huami products may it be under their Amazfit brand or in partnership with Xiaomi. You can bookmark this link in your browser to see updates if you have any further interests.

Vishal Toshiwal

Born in West India, raised in the North and currently chasing dreams in the southern part of India- Vishal is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tech enthusiast and a writer by profession, who is busy taking pictures when he is not writing. He would love to talk to you about the latest movies, TV shows and DC/Marvel comics. As a personal rule, he doesn't let a day get by without at least one dessert. Because, why not?

  • Good to know, I hope they help other bands to compete with them in global market. As of now no competition!

  • Vishal Giri

    A great wearable Legacy!!