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Xiaomi launches a $455 foldable bicycle, christened ‘QiCycle’

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Xiaomi oh Xiaomi! After dazzling the world with an array of high tech gadgets that included Smartphones, Drones and Smart Rice Cookers, the company has now launched a brand new foldable electric bicycle.

If you were still thinking of Xiaomi as simply a smartphone company, now is the time to change your outlook. Yes folks, marking its entry into the field of next generation transportation, the company has launched the Mi QiCYCLE Electric Folding Bike.

Xiaomi is not a smartphone company but we are a technology company. Why not we enter another field such as transportation?

Lets get to the bike specifics. Powered by a 250W, 36V motor, the cycle gets its juice from 20 Panasonic lithium-ion batteries that together provide almost 18,650 mAh of electricity. As the name implies, the bike can be folded down into a relatively compact package that can be carried on primary modes of transportation — Say a car or on the subway.

The QiCycle weighs just 7 kilograms, so you can actually carry it if you must. You can also use the companion app provided exclusively for the cycle to log and analyze stuff like distance travelled, your speed, GPS location, calories burned and so on. You can also pair phone calls to the bike via the dedicated app.

The cycle also has front and rear lights built into its frame and as per Xiaomi, can be used to travel almost 45 Kms on a single charge. And just in case you are wondering about what will happen if the bicycle ran out of battery, you can still enjoy cycling with the aid of Shimano Gear Shifters that promise to make pedalling a pleasure.

The QiCycle is made of carbon fiber and has been decorated with the Reddot design award for 2016. It also has an on-board computer and uses the Torque Measurement Method (TMM) to assist the rider’s pedal-power.

Hinting that its latest invention could be the solution to the traffic problems that are plauging the world — and particularly China — Xiaomi said,

As more people move to the edge of towns and cities, traffic congestion mayget worse. Many people will drive their cars into the city centre to get to work. How you wish you have a bicycle with you right now?

Xiaomi has priced its QiCycle at CNY 2,999 — that translate into roughly 30,000 INR. However, the company has decided to keep it exclusive to China for the present. The device does come with a European electric vehicle certification though, so who knows?

Meanwhile, there is no certain word on the availability of the product. The device will be crowdfunded inside Xiaomi’s Mi Home app — meaning that it will be fully released once a paticular number of users have signed up and agreed to buy it.

So what do you think about Xiaomi’s latest offering? Would you like to see the QiCycle on the Indian roads — will it work here? — and has Xiaomi finally traded the cloak of a smartphone company for a technological behemoth? Do let us on your take by commenting below. We love to hear from you.

Stay tuned!

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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