As it sweeps the floor throughout your home, the vacuum will collect Wi-Fi signal information and create a map highlighting any areas with poor connectivity.
Do you own a Roomba 900 series vacuum? Soon, your robot vacuum will be able to detect and inform you about Wi-Fi dead zones in your home, which could be helpful if you use other smart home devices.
Here’s how the new feature will work: As it sweeps the floor throughout your home, the vacuum will collect Wi-Fi signal information and create a map highlighting any areas with poor connectivity.
“Users can then work to determine ways to fix Wi-Fi issues, resulting in an improved customer experience when using connected devices within the home,” Roomba maker iRobot told PCMag in an email.
The Wi-Fi coverage map feature will be available as part of a new beta program iRobot is launching later this month, which will give a limited number of Roomba customers the opportunity to try unreleased features before they roll out. The beta program will be accessible via the iRobot Home app; those interested in participating will have to apply, and not everyone will be accepted.
“The iRobot Beta program offers our users a chance to experience and shape potential next-generation features that are in development, including Wi-Fi coverage mapping,” iRobot Senior Director of Digital Product Management Gary Hall said in a statement. “The feedback we receive from customers from the program will help us improve our robots and smart home offerings. iRobot believes our robots can provide even more value for our customers by enabling the smart home and the devices within it to work better.”
News of this new feature comes after iRobot co-founder and CEO Colin Angle earlier this year said his company may share maps of users’ homes to third-party companies working on smart home devices to help those gadgets better understand their physical environment. Those remarks sparked privacy concerns, but iRobot promised not to share users’ data with third parties without consent.