I never considered my Roomba to be anything but a good friend who vacuums our condo while we sleep. It’s been a miracle gadget that has saved us time and money when it comes to keeping our place clean.
Now I have just learned from my friends at tech site Gizmodo that future Roombas may be equipped with a camera to spy on us. The owners of the parent company, called iRobot, have figured out a way to make their robots a very valuable commodity.
The Roomba knows more about the layout of our home than we do. It knows the exact positioning of every object in my home, the size of each object, and the precise measurement between objects. That’s not all. Roomba also knows what areas of my home needs the most maintenance, how often we clean, and how much dirt gets accumulated.
The iRobot executives realized there’s a whole new ecosystem of products and services that need this information for future smart home products. If you think about it, the Roomba can be connected to all of the voice assistants like Alexa. The exchange of information between products is mind-boggling.
Roomba can also be a big asset for music companies who want to improve audio performance. The right kind of information about a room’s acoustics can change the dynamics of their technology. The same is true for furniture, lighting, floor coverings, window treatments, art, and household accessories.
The company said that future Roombas will inform users that they are being monitored. They claim users will be able to turn off sharing functions. That’s open for debate because many tech writers are questioning how and when consumers will know their options.
This is going to be a very interesting development to watch.