Smart home products have helped many people in various ways. It has transformed our time consuming chores, helped to protect us and ensure that our health is not ignored. The different products in the market do provide a variety to a consumer. A simple cleaning task is no longer a manual job thanks to the cleaning bots.
One of the most popular smart home products that has been in the market for a long time; the Roomba robotic cleaner, will offer a lot more to its fans. It will not only help to clean the floors, but will also collect useful information and data of the house. This will include the type of home furnishing, distance between furniture and even the dimension of the house or space.
So what will it do with the collection of all this data?
Well, companies like Apple and Google will be able to provide better service by using this information. The data collected will provide smart home manufacturers to customize their products on the needs of the masses. This will help them to come up with new products that will help consumers in a better way.
For a company to cater to the needs of people, it is essential for them to come with specification-based strategies. For this, they need to have useful information that can help them gage the real needs of the consumers.
There is a difference between providing services on a generic ground. Today, most of the products offer a generic kind of service, which does help consumers. With this new form of evaluation, companies will get to know exactly what consumers need and plan accordingly.
For example, today a person may not avail all the features and services that a particular product has to offer. This may be because they cannot afford it or maybe because they do not find the features interesting enough. When companies have an in-depth detail of how to cater to consumer demands, it helps them to understand the generic and specific needs of people.
But, what about the privacy concerns?
Well, considering that this may help consumers in many ways, there is a downside to this. The data collected has in-depth information of every house with the help of the mapping system. This is also a cause of concern. The privacy of a house is at stake since information is easily available. With the growing cyber crime rates and expert hacking techniques, a person’s home will be exposed easily.
Although the intentions are good; but at the end of the day, it will be the end user that will pay the price. Already there are security concerns of smart homeowners considering that the products are connected to the internet.
With the mapping system is in place; unauthorized people will not only know where you stay, but will also have detailed information to every house record. Advertisers and third party companies will also have access to the same information. Somewhere or the other this is a risk factor, which should not be taken lightly.
iRobot has the answer
It looks like the company already brainstormed this front. iRobot, the makers of Roomba have assured that there are certain features that a customer can use to safeguard his/her house information. In a written response to the above concern, the company stated that when it came to the privacy and the data, the company has already taken certain measures. One such step is by providing a feature wherein a consumer can still avail the services of the cleaning bot even if it is offline. There is an option that allows consumers to opt out from sharing their information with the company.
A customer can use the app on his/her smartphone and choose not to be a part of it by turning the sharing feature off. This way, the device will not share any information related to the house mapping with the company.
Pertaining to the question of third party information sharing, the company clearly stated that without the consent of the customer, no information would be sold/shared to any third party company. Although this may sound a little comforting, but it is for the consumer to really decide whether they want to share the information.