Your Roomba will soon be able to map out Wi-Fi dead zones in your house

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Your Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner will soon be able to do more than just sweep the floor. In an update coming out soon, iRobot is giving its Wi-Fi-connected floor bots the ability to measure the Wi-Fi in your home and map it out for you.

Roomba 900 series owners will be able to do this via the iRobot app beginning later this month. You’ll find this map alongside the Clean Map section of the app and be able to switch between the two views.

The mapped out Wi-Fi information it provides isn’t super detailed; it shows Wi-Fi strength in terms of decibels, which are illustrated as a color gradient. However, it offers a good enough visualization that you’ll be able to tell where Wi-Fi is weakest and your home. For those in large homes, or in ones with suspected dead spots, you can use the map to pinpoint where you should add a Wi-Fi booster or extender to even out coverage.

This Wi-Fi-mapping feature is one part of iRobot’s expansion into the connected home. In 2017, the company also added room mapping and Alexa integration to this effect. Colin Angle, iRobot’s CEO, has talked about how he views Roomba and iRobot fitting into the smart home experience on several occasions—namely as a way to help other smart home devices learn about the rooms in your home and what’s in them.

“The most important concept that I believe the home needs to understand is what is a room and what’s in that room?” Angle said in an interview with TechCrunch. “When we leave the room, we’re happy if the room shuts down.”

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If you want to map out Wi-Fi in your home like this, you’ll have to join iRobot’s in-app beta program, which launches Jan. 23, and then opt-in. In the future, the company will add more test-features Roomba owners will be able to try out, as well.

H/T TechCrunch



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