Xiaomi announced today that it would be bringing ISRO’s Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, NavIC technology to its smartphones. The capability has been currently enabled by Qualcomm Technologies on several of their Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platforms and will be made available across multiple Xiaomi smartphones in India this year.
Many of the smartphones Xiaomi is going to launch this year, across multiple price points, will support NavIC which was initially supported only on some Snapdragon chipsets.
With this, Xiaomi has taken a step further towards the Make in India initiative and Xiaomi is the only smartphone brand, so far, to have worked with ISRO to bring tech that has been developed in the country to the fore.
Xiaomi Global VP and MD Manu Jain tweeted to announce the collaboration.
Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) is the regional geo-positioning system designed by ISRO to provide accurate positioning in India and 1,500km around the Indian mainland. The system comprises of seven satellites, three of which are in a geostationary orbit over the Indian Ocean and four that are in a geosynchronous orbit.
NavIC essentially refers to Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a collection of navigation-based satellites that aims to provide accurate position information service to Indian users. The service is quite similar to GPS (Global Position System).
The NavIC is said to be accurate up to 5 meters, which much more efficient than GPS which is said to be accurate up to 20 to 30 meters.
Some of the key consumer applications of NavIC for mobile include precise location mapping in remote, difficult to access areas, precise timing, along with visual and voice navigation for drivers among others.
Commenting on the co-operation, Dr K Sivan, Chairman ISRO said that NavIC is a critical step forward in the pursuit of harnessing space technology for national development and ISRO is eager to make it accessible to everyone for everyday use.
He expressed happiness that Xiaomi India has enabled this technology across several devices in their 2020 portfolio. He said that ISRO looks forward to extending the benefits of this indigenous solution to millions of Indians through such initiatives. He also appreciated Qualcomm Technologies for enabling NavIC support on their mobile chipset platforms.
Manu Jain, Global Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India said on the development, “ISRO developed NavIC with the mission of enabling millions with this innovation, and we at Xiaomi work hard to ensure the same each day. We are extremely proud of the sophisticated geo-positioning tech which ISRO has devised, and even more proud to integrate it into several Xiaomi devices. We also thank our partner Qualcomm Technologies for enabling support in their chipsets as we bring it first to the Redmi smartphone this year.”