If any of you had any hopes that Amazon was going to somehow in the near future become less of an all-powerful monolith ... well, you know the drill, give 'em up.
When I spoke to iRobot's Colin Angle earlier this summer, he said iRobot OS — the latest software operating system for its robot vacuums and mops — would provide its household bots with a deeper understanding of your home and your habits. This takes on a whole new meaning with the news today that Amazon has bought iRobot for $1.7 billion.
From a smart home perspective, it seems clear Amazon wants iRobot for the maps it generates to give it that deep understanding of our homes. The vacuum company has detailed knowledge of our floor plans and, crucially, how they change. It knows where your kitchen is, which your kids' rooms are, where your sofa is (and how new it is), and if you recently turned the guest room into a nursery.
Just think: On your end, Roomba will be doing this:
...and on Amazon's end it'll be doing this:
The level of detail to which Amazon will have access is truly staggering:
Each of iRobot's connected Roomba vacuums and mops trundles around homes multiple times a week, mapping and remapping the spaces. On its latest model, the j7, iRobot added a front-facing, AI-powered camera that, according to Angle, has detected more than 43 million objects in people's homes.
My advice: Ditch the Roomba, get yourself a broom and start sweeping.
Or you can also just get a plain old vacuum ... that would be easier.
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