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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
The visionaries aiming to make underwater living a reality - FT.com
September 6, 2013 7:28 pm
The visionaries aiming to make underwater living a reality

By Edwin Heathcote
homes  seabed 
september 2013 by jerryking

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