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jerryking : home_appliances   11

Vacuums that suck up data fuel privacy concerns
August 16, 2017 | Financial Times | by Aliya Ram.

............Larger questions are being asked. As investors plough money into artificial intelligence (AI) and robots infiltrate deeper into people’s homes, concerns have grown that data-sharing between different technology groups could open the door to unknowable and uncontrollable privacy infringements.

The concern is that technological advances have far outstripped sluggish developments in privacy law and regulation, allowing companies to monetize the most intimate information about how people live and giving governments more opportunities for surveillance.

IRobot has sold 18m home robots around the world and its Roomba vacuum cleaners connect with Amazon and Google’s smart assistants so customers can control them with voice commands. Although it does not sell data, any plans to do so in future could create significant new revenue streams......Consumers will also have the right to be forgotten and to withdraw their consent, which could make things complicated for companies that want to share data with third parties.....“Smart-home appliances and devices are in a privileged position as they are placed at one’s home. These devices are increasingly equipped with motion, environment sensors, and with the ability to communicate with remote servers or other devices — there are a great deal of privacy risks here that must be managed.”
iRobots  privacy  home_appliances  personal_data  mapping  smart_homes  sensors  Roomba  artificial_intelligence  robotics  customer_data  unknowables 
august 2017 by jerryking
Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Sold
JULY 25, 2017 | The New York Times | By MAGGIE ASTOR.

High-end models of Roomba, iRobot’s robotic vacuum, collect data as they clean, identifying the locations of your walls and furniture. This helps them avoid crashing into your couch, but it also creates a map of your home that iRobot is considering selling to Amazon, Apple or Google.

Colin Angle, chief executive of iRobot, told Reuters that a deal could come in the next two years, though iRobot said in a statement on Tuesday: “We have not formed any plans to sell data.”

In the hands of a company like Amazon, Apple or Google, that data could fuel new “smart” home products.

“When we think about ‘what is supposed to happen’ when I enter a room, everything depends on the room at a foundational level knowing what is in it,” an iRobot spokesman said in a written response to questions. “In order to ‘do the right thing’ when you say ‘turn on the lights,’ the room must know what lights it has to turn on. Same thing for music, TV, heat, blinds, the stove, coffee machines, fans, gaming consoles, smart picture frames or robot pets.”

But the data, if sold, could also be a windfall for marketers, and the implications are easy to imagine. No armchair in your living room? You might see ads for armchairs next time you open Facebook. Did your Roomba detect signs of a baby? Advertisers might target you accordingly.... iRobot said that it was “committed to the absolute privacy of our customer-related data.” Consumers can use a Roomba without connecting it to the internet, or “opt out of sending map data to the cloud through a switch in the mobile app.”

“No data is sold to third parties,” the statement added. “No data will be shared with third parties without the informed consent of our customers.”
data  mapping  privacy  location_based_services  LBMA  advertising  smart_homes  iRobot  homes  home_appliances  home_automation  home_based  informed_consent 
july 2017 by jerryking
How young entrepreneur saw a need and turned it into a $10-million firm - The Globe and Mail
SHELLEY WHITE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016

asked QuickContractors to be a secondary resource for installation, delivery and assembly to customers in some of the more challenging geographic areas of Canada. Mr. Bouchard says the opportunity convinced him that his company needed to be the “master contractor” in the equation, controlling the entire life cycle of a job. A new business model was born. “The idea was that we would get the revenue from the Bay and then pay the contractor on the other end to execute the work,” he says. “That’s how we evolved from being an online directory to being a national installation company for major retailers.”
e-commerce  retailers  Home_Depot  Lowe's  nationwide  business_models  Canadian_Tire  delivery  installation  assembly  start_ups  entrepreneur  home_renovations  home_appliances  home-center_industry  home-improvement  QuickContractors  HBC  contractors 
june 2016 by jerryking
The Apple Case Will Grope Its Way Into Your Future - The New York Times
Farhad Manjoo
STATE OF THE ART FEB. 24, 2016

In an Internet of Things world, every home appliance could be turned into a listening post. That’s why the Apple case matters. ... controversy over whether Apple should be forced to unlock an iPhone
Apple  FBI  privacy  Industrial_Internet  connected_devices  Farhad_Manjoo  home_appliances  encryption  surveillance  civil_liberties  cryptography  iPhone 
february 2016 by jerryking
Short Cuts
October 10-11 | FT|

As homes get smarter, humans inch closer to being deposed as lords and masters. Now Amazon is accelerating the process: planning to connect washing machines to its website to or...
smart_homes  Amazon  connected_devices  Industrial_Internet  laundry_rooms  home_appliances  home_automation  white_goods 
november 2015 by jerryking
Whirlpool CIO: The future of IoT demands a new IT paradigm
by Mary K. Pratt

Whirlpool CIO Mike Heim is using cutting-edge tech to reinvent the lowly laundromat, but first he had to reinvent how his IT team worked. Welcome to the future of IoT.....Clothespin technology allows people to use their smartphones to remotely check for available washers and dryers, pay with MasterCard or Visa rather than coins, add cycles remotely and receive notification when laundry cycles are done.

On the operator side, Clothespin enables equipment service providers to remotely change prices based on demand, time of day and other market factors; track machine utilization; identify machines requiring maintenance; and provide users with promotions and loyalty programs.

Developed in a five-day sprint last June, the project had Heim's tech people moving between e-payment processing and IT security and mobile app development and working with a variety of business functions and vendors.
Whirlpool  laundry_rooms  CIOs  laundromats  home_appliances  white_goods  Industrial_Internet  cloud_computing  mobile_applications  reinvention 
september 2015 by jerryking
The zen humidifier
January 17, 2010 | Collision Detection | Clive Thompson, a writer on science, technology, and culture.
Japanese  ideas  design  home_appliances  wood_products 
november 2010 by jerryking
Loads of Luxury
Mar. 05, 2003 | TIME | By Lisa Cullen. luxury has found its
way to the laundry room. Once relegated to gloomy basements and cramped
alcoves, the appliances and accessories that wash, dry and care for
clothes are now in showcase spaces....Roused by the demand for German
company Miele's $1,500-plus front-loading machines, American
manufacturers like Maytag, Sears and Whirlpool are rushing to offer
better-priced front loaders, which save space, conserve water and energy
and hum instead of roar.
luxury  laundry_rooms  home_appliances  white_goods 
december 2009 by jerryking
Appliance Anxiety - Replace It or Fix It? - NYTimes.com
By JULIE SCELFO
Published: May 27, 2009. To stay profitable, service companies book
multiple appointments on the same day, forcing consumers to sit home and
wait for hours. And because it would be impossible for technicians to
drive around with every possible replacement part, some repairs require a
follow-up visit that can be subject to the same inconveniences.
appliances  repairs  white_goods  home_appliances  inconveniences  after-sales_service 
june 2009 by jerryking

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