Matic the robot vacuum is more a robot than a vacuum

Developed by two former Google engineers, the new robot features a different design than most robotic cleaners and focuses heavily on privacy.

Matic is a new robot vacuum developed by two former Google engineers to revolutionize the robotic cleaning market, currently dominated by iRobot’s Roombas and similar devices from competing companies.

Matic stands out in the crowded field of robot vacuums, not just in its function but in its form, as it looks more like a compact, friendly robot than a traditional vacuum cleaner. 

Matic’s design significantly departs from most robot vacuums’ typical circular flying-saucer-esque design. Its white, squat body and large wheels make it appear more akin to a character from a futuristic movie than a household appliance. Matic’s orientation and local mapping capabilities are powered by five RGB cameras and advanced on-device computing, allowing the device to see and understand its environment in real time.

What sets Matic apart from the competition, though, is its commitment to privacy by design. Unlike many competitors, the robot operates locally without needing an internet connection. This ensures that all mapping and data processing is confined to the device, offering users peace of mind that the home data remains secure and private. The privacy angle might seem like a very specific one to go after. Still, it’s front and center in the news with Amazon’s ongoing acquisition of iRobot, which has led many to worry about the e-commerce company's ability to access the maps and data of millions of homes worldwide.

Matic will arrive in 2024 with a price tag of $1800, which is way above the highest-priced competing products. While the product is an interesting statement about the future of home robotics, such a high price might limit its appeal to the larger crowds that would rather strike a more reasonable balance between affordability and price.

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