Let’s be honest, there are a few of us who do not understand the point of a rice cooker. Rice has to be one of the easiest meals to prepare but there seems to be a number of cultures that take their rice seriously. Yesterday, China’s Xiaomi launched a product that apparently, a good number of people had been waiting on; a smart rice cooker.
For a company that already offers a range of products inclusive of air purifiers, blood pressure monitors and water purifiers which are smartphone controlled, a smart rice cooker is a prestigious addition to that list as it is an essential part of any Chinese or Asian household. Prior to this launch, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun had lamented in February, the inability of Chinese companies to match up to Japanese innovations on rice cookers. Yesterdays launch which took place in Beijing is a first step to level the rice cooker playing field.
The new rice cooker connects to a smartphone app that will then optimize cooking to the type of rice you have. In Xiaomi’s statement regarding the product, full name; Mi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker, they said that “Users can scan their pack of rice to identify the type of rice, brand and origin, and based on that, the rice cooker can adjust its heating methodology to best suit the type of rice. It currently supports more than 200 brands of rice, and this will be expanded in the future”.
The device which can be set to make cakes and other delicious items is marketed and sold via Xiaomi but is actually manufactured by another company, Xiaomi’s partner, Chun Mi. The rice cooker will be made available in China from April 6 for about $150 but there is still as at this moment, no talk on international launch plans. This launch taught me that cooking of rice is some serious business and maybe we in this part of the world haven’t been paying enough attention.