Screenless TV innovator XGIMI (极米) releases three new products on August 14. The new products involve upgraded display quality, new design and user interfaces meant for various scenarios. For home electronics, user experience is always the top priority.
Founded in 2013, XGIMI has closed five rounds of financing with a total amount in excess of CNY 1 billion (USD 143 million). After XGIMI's Series D round of financing, Baidu became its third-largest shareholder.
Last year, XGIMI ranked first in projector shipment with 575,000 units distributed in the Chinese market, accounting for 13.2% of the total market share, according to an IDC report. Before that, China's projector market was dominated by foreign original design manufacturers (ODMs) such as EPSON, BenQ, SONY and NEC. However, even after the entry of homegrown players into the sector, China still depends on foreign suppliers for core technology and components.
Besides, the company has expanded overseas and entered the Japanese market last year. After nine months of R&D and an intense drive to catch up with the market leaders, XGIMI became the top screenless TV supplier in Japan with a 25% market share.
As LED, HLD and laser technologies matured, screenless TV became a popular new frontier in 2014, attracting a handful of startups including XGIMI(极米), PIQS (火乐神画) and ZECO(智歌), some home appliance manufacturers such as Hisense and Changhong, as well as Internet and electronics company Xiaomi.
Users' demand for higher video resolution has been an impetus for screenless TV projectors to rise up the technological ladder. To enjoy video projected onto super-large screens requires higher definition solutions, and the performance of screenless TVs is down to how well technologies are suited to multiple lighting requirements and scenarios.
Dedicated to improving user experiences through technology innovation, XGIMI launched the world's first HD (high definition) projector supporting 1080P in 2016 and added smart audio control function.
In 2017, the company embedded MEMC (Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation) function in its products. Besides, in view of different user scenarios, the TV innovator designed a screenless TV in shape of ceiling light to meet the entertainment/lighting needs of residents in the cramped abode. This is one of the reasons behind XGIMI's success in Japan where tight individual living space is the norm.
To achieve better sound effect, which is another important aspect of a home theater. XGIMI has cooperated with Harman Kardon, the car stereo supplier to auto brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, in tuning the sound and testing sound quality.
In 2018, XGIMI formed an alliance with Baidu to build a screenless lab. XGIMI is now running Baidu's AI operating system DuerOS to leverage the user-machine interaction.
The screen, one of the most important components in a home setting, will be strategically important in the IoT era. Giants such as Huawei are all searching for the best device to serve as the entrance for user traffic. Just as Liu Yun, an analyst with IDC China analyst, has said, "screen is an important carrier of human-computer interaction, and the construction of an ecosystem is crucial to the development of smart home in the future."