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When I was a kid, I used to wonder how much my future life would be like The Jetsons. Would I order breakfast with a push of a button before delivering my kids to school in little bubbles that dropped from my flying spaceship and come home to a spotless house thanks to a home robot?
When Roombas came on the market in 2002, the novelty of turning them loose in the house to do your floors was instantly appealing. Why wouldn’t you want to have your floor cleaned while you were away? Pushing a vacuum was suddenly so 2001 and now LG’s HOM-BOT Turbo+ takes cleaning to a more futuristic level.
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I first got the pitch to visit LG’s booth to see HOM-BOT in action at CES. Augmented reality, camera sensors, and the ability to control my little cleaning robot through my smartphone? We’re talking cleaning. Do we really need all that? And let’s be practical- how much will it cost?
Part of being tech savvy is separating the wow factor of any new device from the practical and being critical about whether the new technology is worth getting or waiting for. After seeing HOM-BOT Turbo+ in action and learning about how it really works, it could be a welcome addition to the home of any family.
Make no mistake about it, the newest HOM-BOT is far more than a robotic vacuum. With the company’s focus on “Innovation for a Better Life,” HOM-BOT uses augmented reality to power a feature called Home-Joy that ensures that you can control your robotic vacuum via your smartphone. Triple Eye™ camera sensors record the surrounding area — including the ceiling — to track where it has already cleaned.
Having a camera on the front of HOM-BOT triggers Home-View, a real-time feed to your smartphone that allows you to remotely control the vacuum and clean your home anytime, anywhere and view the spots in your home that have already been cleaned. Another feature, HomeJoy, allows you to identify certain point that HOM-BOT should clean just by moving your finger on the smartphone app.
The cameras that are embedded in HOM-BOT also allow you to do more than just see what your smart robotic vacuum has been cleaning. The front camera also triggers Home-Guard, a home security function that sends photos of inside your home to your smartphone whenever the HOM-BOT Turbo+ senses movement. With HomeGuard, you can tell HOM-BOT to go to a doorway, take a photo, and send you an alert for extra security and peace of mind.
Take a look at this interview that I did with Mark Vitanza from LG about how HOM-BOT works to clean and protect your home via a smartphone app.
The HOM-BOT Turbo+ also navigates homes and avoids obstacles (like stairs, toys, or a sleeping pet) thanks to Robonavi™, an intelligent software system that uses the robot’s dual CPUs to make lightning fast directional decisions.
But how much will it cost to obtain the newest HOM-BOT for remote cleaning using state of the art technology? CNET reports that previous models of HOM-BOTs have retailed for around $800 so homeowners will likely weigh whether the price of this cool new technology is worth the investment over a cleaning service.
I was invited to attend a breakfast with LG while at CES. Although I was compensated for writing this post and interviewed Mark Vitanza in my role as a Digital Correspondent for Cox Communications, no additional compensation was received for attending the breakfast and all opinions are my own.