According to several articles, Amazon’s purchase of iRobot could be to map the inside of your home to let marketers sell more junk because Amazon wants to know more about its customers.
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The $1.7 billion purchase of iRobot Corp. by Amazon.com Inc. is a move by the multinational giant to use Roombas to map the interior of homes. Because marketers can simply develop customized ads if they are aware of what is contained in this data type, it is a digital gold mine for Amazon.
From a marketing perspective, Amazon bought iRobot in order to better understand its customers’ homes with the “Roomba” robotic vacuum cleaner.
The J7 edition of the Roomba, which is the most recent model, features a front-facing AI-powered camera that maps out each room and can detect almost anything in its route, including floor plans, the location of the kitchen, the master bedroom, the children’s sleeping areas, and items on the floor.
“Slightly more terrifying, the maps also represent a wealth of data for marketers. The size of your house is a pretty good proxy for your wealth. A floor covered in toys means you likely have kids. A household without much furniture is a household to which you can try to sell more furniture. This is all useful intel for a company such as Amazon which, you may have noticed, is in the business of selling stuff,” Bloomberg said.
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The surveillance that Roomba conducts from inside the house is absolute digital gold since it will let marketers sell more junk because Amazon wants to know more about its customers.
Vice News said, “leaked documents acquired by Motherboard revealed that one of the goals of Astro [Amazon’s robot] was to create a robot that intelligently plotted out the interior of a user’s homes, even creating heat maps of highly trafficked areas.”
Astro hasn’t been warmly accepted by Amazon customers due to privacy concerns, and the same could happen with robot vacuums after the acquisition. The Amazon/iRobot deal has already drawn criticism on Twitter for being “pure dystopia.”
People are becoming aware of Amazon’s widespread household mass surveillance program:
The ability to integrate iRobot’s extensive surveillance infrastructure into what at the first glance seems to be a harmless vacuum is what the company provides to Amazon, but just as Echo smart speakers are always “listening,” perhaps the vacuum will be monitoring as well.
Remember that Amazon has an alarming alliance with the Central Intelligence Agency; perhaps it’s time to stop using the Roomba.