Amazon acquires iRobot. But it’s about more than just vacuum robots, customer data should be the focus.
Amazon takes over iRobot: It’s about more than just vacuum robots.
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Amazon takes over the cleaning robot pioneer iRobots and its debts. This was announced by the online shipping retailer. Amazon is paying around $1.7 billion for iRobot, or $61 per share. Amazon pays the full amount in cash. iRobot shareholders and regulators still need to approve.
Amazon is expanding its smart home offering and is getting a lot of data
For Amazon, the acquisition of iRobot represents a major step forward in the smart home market. Amazon’s main presence in the smart home is represented by its Alexa voice assistant and Echo speaker, as well as surveillance cameras and video doorbells from Blink and Ring. Amazon, on the other hand, does not yet offer its own vacuum robots. But the Roomba models equipped with cameras, which also map the apartments, could offer exciting starting points for Amazon, for example in room surveillance as a future application. But above all: Amazon could use the vacuum robots to collect a lot more data about its customers, which once again significantly expands the existing customer profiles. That could raise concerns among privacy advocates.
Amazon is not completely without experience when it comes to household robots, because Amazon has at least developed the prototype of a home surveillance robot with Astro, but does not yet offer it for sale in Germany: Amazon’s autonomous home robot – video shows Astro in action.
iRobot and Roomba
iRobot introduced the first Roomba vacuum robot in 2002. Since then, the product name Roomba has almost become synonymous with vacuum robots. Especially in the high-price sector, iRobot is trying to maintain its market share, so vacuum robots and wiping robots can be used in combination. In particular, competitors from Asia such as Roborock or Ecovacs have also established themselves on the vacuum robot market alongside iRobot.
PC-WELT has repeatedly tested Roomba models, here are a few examples:
Roomba j7+: robot vacuum detects dog poop and warns of them
Roomba: Replace the battery in the iRobot vacuum cleaning robot yourself
Vacuum robot Roomba i7+ in the test
iRobot Roomba 980: High-end vacuum cleaning robot with app in test
iRobot Roomba i7+ automatically empties its dirt container – ideal for allergy sufferers
Roomba 780 and Scooba 390 in practical test
The best vacuum robots in the test: market overview and purchase advice 2021