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iRobot partners with Google, will use mapped data to improve the smart home experience

By Shawn Knight · 4 replies
Oct 31, 2018
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  1. iRobot on Wednesday announced a collaboration with Google to use mapped data collected by its Roomba robotic vacuums to enhance Google’s smart home experience.

    iRobot’s latest vacuum, the Roomba i7+, features Imprint Smart Mapping technology that allows the bot to learn your home’s floor plan. Using voice commands through the Google Assistant, users can even have the robot clean specific rooms just by asking.

    The proposed opt-in program will let Roomba users share their mapping data with Google to help explore new smart home innovations. For example, such data could make it easier to set up future smart home gadgets and enable new automations.

    Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot, said working with Google will allow them to explore new ways to enable a more thoughtful home.

    iRobot didn’t provide any other details about the collaboration in its press release, perhaps suggesting the partnership is still in a very early stage.

    It was reported in the summer of 2017 that iRobot was looking to shop this mapped data around to potential buyers. Reuters even suggested at the time that the top three buyers could be Amazon, Apple and Google.

    iRobot issued the following statement at the time in response to our story:

    “iRobot does not sell data customer data. Our customers always come first. We will never violate our customer’s trust by selling or misusing customer-related data, including data collected by our connected products. Right now, the data Roomba collects enables it to effectively clean the home and provides customers with information about cleaning performance. iRobot believes that in the future, this information could provide even more value for our customers by enabling the smart home and the devices within it to work better, but always with their explicit consent.”

    Unless iRobot is just giving its mapped data to Google at no charge (which seems highly unlikely), odds are, they’ll generate some sort of income from it.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,480   +3,037

    They should partner with some good engineers first.

    After all the years and many revisions, this thing is still notoriously useless on black surfaces - black floors and black carpets, and they don't bother fixing it.

    It's like those old laser mice that couldn't work on a white page of paper.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
    Slappy McPhee and Reehahs like this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,404   +3,799

    Sounds like identical companies .... they don't fix their problems and they want to steal your data .... Big Brother will be knocking soon!
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    After 880 I am not impress with iRobot mapping the floor. There hardware cost too much and yet the need to buy expensive pickup rollers so often, and the two wheel housing can cost $30 a each wheel. Why didn't just make it so it doesn't need to be replaced. I could end up buy 4 more of these the rate of repairs. Off brands are cheaper and do the same task for less. Plus this one leave scuff marks and the side molding along the edge of the floor if you have it white. Forget it.. One more thing the battery to replace in this united is another expensive. I could buy off brand for less. To me I had paid $699 for two one for me and the other for the GF that's ex GF. I taken back the iRobot Scomba that washes the floor that was like $799. This one like $999 or higher. Anyway everyone is making these things so cheap today..
    Slappy McPhee and Reehahs like this.
  5. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,836   +679

    It's not Big Brother....it's the people that buy this junk. I have read Vampires can't get ya til they are invited in
    Slappy McPhee likes this.

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