Amazon acquired iRobot to spy on you inside your house.

Colin Angle, an executive at iRobot, told me earlier this summer that the company's newest software operating system for its robot vacuums and mops, iRobot OS, would give its household bots a better awareness of your house and your routines. 

With the recent announcement that Amazon has paid $1.7 billion to acquire iRobot, this has taken on all new significance.

From the standpoint of the smart home, it is obvious that Amazon wants iRobot for the maps that it creates to give it that in-depth knowledge of our houses. The vacuum firm is quite familiar with our floor designs, especially how they alter.

It is aware of the location of your kitchen, the rooms in which your children are sleeping, the sofa's age and location, as well as if you just converted the guest room into a nursery.

For a business whose main goal is to sell you more products, this kind of data is digital gold. Although I'm curious to see how Amazon may use iRobot's technology to further its goals for the smart home, many are correct to worry about the privacy ramifications. 

People want home automation to function more effectively, but they don't want to trade privacy for convenience.

Although it's a problem in the digital industry as a whole, it's far more sensitive in our homes. With its track record of exchanging information with law enforcement agencies through its subsidiary Ring, its "always listening (for the wake word)" Echo smart speakers, and now its in-depth understanding of your floor layout, Amazon has a very full picture of your daily life.

Each connected Roomba vacuum and mop from iRobot travels through houses many times per week, mapping and remapping the rooms. A front-facing, AI-powered camera that has reportedly recognised more than 43 million things in people's homes has been added by iRobot to its most recent model, the j7. For navigation, some versions use a low-resolution camera that is pointed upward.

All of this suggests that the purchase is unlikely to be related to robotics; if it were, Amazon would have acquired iRobot long ago. Instead, it likely acquired the business (at a relative discount — iRobot recently announced a 30 percent sales loss in the face of escalating competition) in order to have a close-up view inside our homes.

 Why? Because having a floor layout gives you perspective Context also reigns supreme in the smart home for which Amazon is making a strong effort.

Alexa is gradually becoming a fully autonomous virtual assistant.