So another contract is signed and life goes on much the way it always has.
It strangely feels like I’ve been living in China a lot longer than I actually have, and while last year I lived in such a way that felt like I was only in transit, I’ve decided that this year I’m gonna start living here like I actually live here.
The first step in my plan was to automate my apartment with the help of Xiao Mi.
Xiao Mi is a prominent Chinese technology company that makes phones, computers, and literally everything else that can hold a current.
Everything from coffee makers to drones can be bought from Xiao Mi in their signature apple-esque white colour scheme and sporting eye-brow raisingly low prices.
The first thing I bought from Xiao Mi was a Roomba style robot vacuum.
I’ve always wanted a robot vacuum but could never afford one and never really lived anywhere that was conducive to owning one. However now I’m the proud owner of a little floor sucking robot pet and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
While it’s quite a lot louder than I expected it would be, and bitches at me in Mandarin whenever I kick it out of a corner that it’s found itself stuck in; this little monster cleans my entire apartment within 20 minutes and does a damn good job.
It even finds a way (with much groaning and scraping) to get itself over the lip separating my bathroom from my living room.
The vacuum scans the room that it’s in before running wall to wall in a criss-cross fashion. I find that while it doesn’t always get everything the first time around, if I run it twice I’m always satisfied.
The next thing I bought was an air-purifier that’s roughly the size of a tubby 6 year old that sits in my room and churns through the air 24 hours a day.
I feel like this one was also a great investment because I’m forever conscious of the air that I breathe (being asthmatic) and whether it’s placebo or not, I’ve felt better since buying the air-purifier, especially while I sleep.
The best thing about Xiao Mi devices is that they talk to each other and all connect to the Mi Home app. Any interaction you’d like them to have between each other is possible, for example, if I chose for my air-purifier to turn up whenever the vacuum is running I could do that.
Options for how the devices can work together increase dramatically the more I buy.
The next thing I bought was a hub that manages many devices. The hub plugs into my bedroom and links up to a variety of things I bought for it to interact with it.
The first one was a proximity sensor that I placed outside.
One of the biggest problems I have are the quiet-knocking delivery guys bringing my fat ass pizza every day.
I’m busy in bed binging the final (disappointing) season of House of Cards, and I can’t hear the delivery guy knocking over the sound of Netflix or my rage spiraling.
Luckily, the proximity sensor tells my hub that he’s here, which then tells me through a charming ringtone that snaps me back to reality and gets me out of bed and to the door before the poor man is forced to call me.
I’ve also bought smart plugs that go between the air conditioner and the wall so that I can control the air con with my phone, I also bought plugs that can be remotely switched off and on.
I also got a temperature gauge that can be connected into the network too.
This one is really useful because I’ve programmed it to turn on my air conditioner at night when the room gets too hot or humid, then turn it back off if the room gets too cold.
Is all of this necessary in keeping me alive? Absolutely not, but the month spent setting all this up and gleefully skipping around my living room had passed the time beautifully.
But I’m kinda done now so..