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Image credit: Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Google and iRobot team up to better map your home

Roomba data could help set up your connected devices.
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Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Your Roomba's home mapping could be useful for more than more effective cleaning. Google and iRobot have formed a partnership to improve smart home technology using consumer robots. The two will find "additional ways" to link their platforms beyond Google Assistant control, including the possibility of using a Roomba's map-based spatial awareness to "simplify home setup" and foster "powerful new automations."

While the companies aren't more specific than that in the release, iRobot chief Colin Angle told The Verge in an interview that it could help properly locate smart home devices. The maps could help pinpoint where your lights are, for instance, while a future robot would know where to fetch a beer by identifying the location of a connected refrigerator.

It's understandable why this would cause privacy concerns. If you're already nervous about the potential for breaches and misuses, why would you give Google a map of your home? The company's Michelle Turner emphasized that the info wouldn't be used for ads or other existing Google services, however, and map information sharing is strictly optional. Any collaboration would be limited to smart home tech, at least in the near future.

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