Roomba maker iRobot wants to sell your home map data to Apple, Google

iRobot's chief executive said mapping data from its Roomba could be sold to Apple, Amazon, or Google in the coming years.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor
(Image: File photo)

iRobot, the maker of Roomba vacuums, wants to sell mapping data from inside your home to Amazon, Apple, or Google, for the next frontier -- the smart home.

Speaking to Reuters, CEO Colin Angle said iRobot could reach a deal to sell its mapping data in the next couple of years. It could be big business for the robotic vacuum maker and could provide tech giants with much-needed data from inside your home.

Angle believes Roomba's data could help smart home devices better understand their environment, like matching sound systems to a home's acoustics, or changing an air conditioner's air flow based on how sun shines through windows in a particular room.

iRobot's Roomba 980 released in 2015 was the first vacuum in its arsenal to introduce mapping technology.

The Roomba 980 utilizes a camera and various proximity sensors, fusing all the data as it methodically works through a room to create a map of the floor space. Roomba can tell in real time if it's missed any spots, comparing the map to a record of its movements.

"There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared," Angle told Reuters.

Of course, there are privacy concerns. Angel said users would need to opt-in to share home mapping data, but didn't detail how that opt-in would take place.

There's no word on any specific deals iRobot has to sell the mapping data. Amazon declined to comment. We have reached out to Apple and Google and will update you if we hear more.

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