But a new Reuters interview with Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot (manufacturers of the popular vacuum-cum-feline chariot Roomba), has brought many of these fears to the surface as the executive acknowledges that his company might sell data that the vacuum collects from users' homes. Roombas are already compatible with Google Homes and Amazon Alexas, and data about your home could easily help those companies figure out what you don't already have so they can start selling it to you.
Asked about its plans, the company offered comment from Angle, reiterating the original story's assertion that the mapping is still opt-in.
The news has, of course, raised privacy concerns.
Roomba vacuums have advanced markedly in recent years, adding sensors, better cameras, and software updates that allow a device to clean, return to its station to recharge, and then go back out to clean again, starting where it left off.
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Angle told Reuters that "there an entire ecosystem of things and services that the user has allowed having shared". The point, however, is that companies do stand to benefit a lot from the home mapping data acquired by the cleaning robot.
Knowing room size and shape could help connected heating and air conditioning systems put out the proper flow.
Not all of the products for iRobot - the company that created the Roomba but used to focus on military robots - are embedded with the mapping capability. Smart speakers could EQ themselves.
Users can opt out of using the app where data is collected and can decline to share their information with iRobot, which would prevent the company from selling it, but Angle said he was fairly sure most consumers would be willing to trade convenience for privacy, Gizmodo reported. Customers could find it "sort of a scary thing", he said. The ability to combine a Roomba and an Echo so Amazon can sell you more stuff because it knows the layout of your house? But that could simply mean the hardware won't work if you don't give it permission to sell your data. Some homeowners may be uncomfortable with the idea of virtual blueprints of their home stored in a cloud accessible by tech companies that could already have significant information about them.