Everywhere you turn these days, new technology seeks to undermine both constitutional guarantees and basic assumptions of privacy, when you would normally and reasonably expect that you’re not being spied upon.
After all, it’s one thing to put your entire life online in a series of social media posts; that happens by choice. But when devices you buy for one purpose turn out to serve the additional purpose of invading your privacy, that’s a problem.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, the maker of the autonomous vacuuming robot, Roomba, has just revealed plans for his next generation of devices to include technology to gather 3D floor plans on your home and then transmit them to third parties. (Related: Wikileaks reveals the extent of the CIA hacking capabilities; personal devices are no longer safe or private.)
The machines have been in homes for years now, bouncing harmlessly off walls and furniture in their quest to keep your floors clean. But now they will be designed to collect more than just dirt:
That data is of a spatial variety: The dimensions of a room as well as distances between sofas, tables, lamps and other home furnishings.
To a tech industry eager to push ‘smart’ homes controlled by a variety of Internet-enabled devices, that space is the next frontier.
Already connected devices like cameras for home security, smart-home lighting and thermostats are on the market. But the CEO of Roomba manufacturer iRobot Corp., Colin Angle, says even those devices are still ‘dumb’ when it comes to gathering an understanding of their overall surrounding environment.
So he believes that mapping technology which currently helps guide Roombas throughout homes could be changed to accommodate gathering specific home dimensions, and so he’s basing the company’s strategy on that concept moving forward.
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