Roomba Can Sell Maps of Your Home to Amazon and Google

The vacuum robot can map customer's homes and sell that data to advertisers.

July 25, 2017 12:43 pm
The Roomba might be gathering customer's data in addition to dirt.
The Roomba might be gathering customer's data in addition to dirt. (iRobot)

Roomba is selling out its customers. Its data, that is.

Colin Angle, iRobot CEO, wants to sell maps of its customer’s homes created with data from its vacuuming bots. These Roomba-derived maps would include dimensions of rooms and the spacing or arrangement of furniture—even include an itemized list of smart home devices.

Companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple consider this kind of data extremely valuable as they push into the smart home market, Reuters reports. Angle hopes the newest vacuum bot, the Roomba 900, can provide what the need.

The Roomba ‘Home’ app already collects data that can be sold to companies. (iRobot)

Dubbed Slam technology, or simultaneous localization and mapping, the Roomba 900 can map entire room while maintaining its position within it. Angle thinks the roving bot can gather data that would serve as the connective tissue between an “ecosystem” of isolated smart home devices, from light switches to TVs.

According to Mashable, iRobot will add Amazon’s Alexa voice commands to control the Roomba sometime this year. Perhaps, this is a precursor of the symbiotic relationship Angle hopes to cultivate.

Critics have voiced concerns about the potential invasions of privacy with the data-driven home maps. Users of the company’s Home app already have given iRobot permission iRobot to sell their data, Mashable reports.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.