Xiaomi’s New Rollable Speaker and Reestablished U.S. Market

May 18, 2021

Researchers have found an interesting patent filed by Xiaomi, a Chinese technology giant. The patent is for a new smartphone design that looks nothing like any other smartphone currently in existence. It has a cylinder-shaped body, a screen that pulls out of the side, a speaker along its bottom and a triple rear camera. Although it’s not completely clear how it will work, experts think it’s likely a smartphone that doubles as a smart speaker with a retractable display built in, or perhaps just a speaker that has no use as a smartphone at all. Although Xiaomi filed the patent for their new piece of technology in March 2020 in China, it was just approved in May 2021.

Their newly approved patent for the smart speaker hybrid is one of many pieces of good news for the China-based company. In May, Xiaomi was taken off a U.S. governmental blacklist that had effectively made it impossible for them to operate in the U.S. Xiaomi sued, the U.S. courts found in their favor, and the Biden administration stated they would not appeal the ruling or pursue the matter further. 

As a result, the U.S. Defense Department has removed Xiaomi from the blacklist that is still in effect for several other Chinese tech companies, most notably Huawei. The blacklist was first created under the Trump administration, citing security risks posed by the companies on the list. The list prohibits the included companies from operating within the U.S.

Removal from the blacklist means Xiaomi can once again import its products into the U.S.—just in time for the release of new rollable speaker when it comes on the market.