A Spy In Your Home 

I never considered my Roomba to be anything but a good friend who vacuums our condo while we sleep. It’s been a miracle gadget that has saved us time and money when it comes to keeping our place clean. 

Now I have just learned from my friends at tech site Gizmodo that future Roombas may be equipped with a camera to spy on us. The owners of the parent company, called iRobot, have figured out a way to make their robots a very valuable commodity. 

The Roomba knows more about the layout of our home than we do. It knows the exact positioning of every object in my home, the size of each object, and the precise measurement between objects. That’s not all. Roomba also knows what areas of my home needs the most maintenance, how often we clean, and how much dirt gets accumulated.

The iRobot executives realized there’s a whole new ecosystem of products and services that need this information for future smart home products. If you think about it, the Roomba can be connected to all of the voice assistants like Alexa. The exchange of information between products is mind-boggling. 

Roomba can also be a big asset for music companies who want to improve audio performance.  The right kind of information about a room’s acoustics can change the dynamics of their technology. The same is true for furniture, lighting, floor coverings, window treatments, art, and household accessories.  

The company said that future Roombas will inform users that they are being monitored.  They claim users will be able to turn off sharing functions. That’s open for debate because many tech writers are questioning how and when consumers will know their options.

This is going to be a very interesting development to watch. 


    gdgt Live

    The world of tech likes to party. Every month, or sometimes every week, there is some event that industry people can attend to see new products, socialize, drink, eat, and go home with a bag of goodies.

    The gdgt event last night, smack in the middle of Silicon Alley in New York  City, was a little different. This one was targeted to the consumer. Thousands of people showed up to walk through the exhibit hall at The Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street. Manufacturers and app developers had their new introductions on display to get first hand customer reactions and to start generating sales. FYI, gdgt, a company that dropped its vowels, is a blog where you can get reviews from people who actually have the product you’re looking for. They run live events all around the country as a means to get the innovative companies to interact with the public.

    Last night was my first time attending as a blogger. I am usually a PR person pitching product myself. I wanted to find new, exciting products to tell you about. One of the most interesting pieces of information that I picked up is that AARP is becoming a sponsor of some of these events. Robin Raskin of Living In Digital Times told me that AARP is expressing more interest in technology. It all makes sense to me but I will let you know about any services they develop involving innovation.

    Here are some of the innovations I saw last night that might interest you.

    1) iRobot Roomba 790 with Command Center

    2) iPieces from Pressman, a host of new games from Pressman Toys

    3) Cobrar entry into the app market with the iRadar