Thursday, September 27, 2007

Is iRobot's ConnectR, Connecting with their Customers?

[Image courtesy of iRobot]

posted by: Andrew Harris

Ok I'll admit, I'd rather have a robot clean my gutters, but iRobot's newest launch is...well sort of hard to picture. Apparently, Tele-presence isn't just a simple video chat anymore. With this bot you can rove around, talk, manipulate the camera view, zoom in and out, and basically creep up on people to listen and observe them remotely. iRobot’s intended purpose is the much more market appropriate application of keeping in touch with loved ones whilst away, this seems somewhat benign, but suitable as well. I personally think they'd sell more if it was marketed as a "fidelity keeper". However, the bot is a bit conspicuous and most assuredly makes a racket. The fact that it has a speaker on it for two-way communications isn’t very Bond’ish either, maybe a bit Dick Tracy. Although heavy breathing can be creepy, it's not very well suited to be a spy-bot (trust me they have one in development). But, if you can’t stand the idea of missing those special in home moments like junior's first steps or the dog pooping on the floor, from the floor's perspective, than this is the bots for you...enjoy.