The executive is now exploring deals to share data with tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon, according to Reuters. iRobot is already compatible with Amazon's Alexa and Google's Google Home, so there's already some sharing of information in place. With the help of a camera and different types of proximity sensors, the Roomba 980 gathers all the data and wanders through each room to create a map of the floor space.
Using this data to compliment other smart home devices could allow for such developments as smart speakers adjusting their acoustic settings to match a users' home layout, or smart lighting adapting its schedule based on window placement in a room and time of day.
But the prospect of selling information derived from the intricacies of people's homes - and their literal dirt - raises potential privacy concerns, which Angle says the company acknowledges.More news: United Kingdom welcomes Qatar's call for Gulf crisis talks
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The aforementioned "big three" would also likely be interested in maps of users homes to support product recommendations for customers.
Asked about its plans, the company offered comment from Angle, reiterating the original story's assertion that the mapping is still opt-in.
Roomba maker iRobot Corp announced future plans to sell maps of users' homes to advertisers, according to an interview iRobot CEO Colin Angle gave yesterday. As those corporations delve into the artificially intelligent voice assistant devices market, they are also exploring the advent of smart homes, a similar, but more extensive technology.
Others feared the data could be hacked. The point, however, is that companies do stand to benefit a lot from the home mapping data acquired by the cleaning robot. The security of the data is not likely to be hard to overcome for a motivated and skilled individual so keep that in mind if you are shopping for a robot vacuum. While an online customer service rep directed me to the Twitter account and Angle's statement, a phone rep confidently informed me that iRobot would not sell data. For Roomba users who would like to enjoy their privacy, the best thing that they can do for now is hope that Angle and iRobot will keep its word.