'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
iRobot's latest update to its j7 and j7+ lines are designed to make the company's robot vacuum a bit more intelligent around the family Christmas tree and errant footwear.
The recently-released firmware patch integrates with the company's iRobot Genius platform, iRobot Home App, and compatible hardware to allow users to set specific "Clean Zones" to help their Roomba vacuum up fallen pine needles without toppling any holiday decorations.
This type of intelligent avoidance is now available for both shoes and socks as well; with iRobot having added them to the list, this series of Roombas can automatically detect and avoid. Discarded sneakers and mid-calf crews now join other potential hazards like cords and solid pet waste that can also automatically be detected and avoided. iRobot promises to continue expanding this list of recognized hazards with future over-the-air updates to the machine learning and artificial intelligence technology that makes dynamically spotting threats possible.
Users receiving a second or third robot floor cleaner this holiday season will likely be happy to hear that the company now allows users to transfer their Imprint Smart Maps from one supported model to another. These maps are the guides every supported Roomba and Braava use to navigate their owner's floors. This transferability is supported by the Roomba j7, Roomba i7, and Roomba S9 lines, as well as the Braava jet m6 robot mop.
iRobot compared the new portability of Imprint Smart Maps to transferring your data to a new smartphone upon activation. The company likely hopes this ease-of-use update to its line with enticing more users to take advantage of the various Roomba/Braava bundles it is offering during the holiday season.
The update is available now for all supported models.