China's Sina Weibo and Hisense, a local home appliance maker, have launched an air-conditioner that can be switched on and off via the Web, and that can interact with users on the Chinese microblogging service.
According to a 36kr report, the announcement is part of Weibo's bid to offer Internet of Things services to its more than 500 million subscribers.
With this launch, Weibo users can link their account to the Hisense air-conditioner, check the indoor temperature, as well as turn the system on and off using an app they can download on their smartphone. The air-conditioner can also detect abnormalities and send messages to the Weibo account.
Authorized subscribers can check the system's operation status, environmental data, and give orders such as setting the air-conditioner to run at a certain temperature before they make their way home.
This integration between the machine and Weibo platform is seen as part of Sina's bold ambition of establishing a foothold in China's still-fledgling Internet of Things and smart-appliance market.
During the Global Mobile Internet Conference held in Beijing this May, Sina demoed its "Sina Weather Station", a Weibo-based platform which connects home appliances to Weibo accounts and allows users to monitor air conditions on their smartphones, noted 36kr in a separate report.