Add Wi-Fi and HomeKit compatibility to your Roomba with this clever retrofit

add wi fi connectivity homekit compatibility roomba clever retrofit thinking cleaner

Here at DT, we’ve tested just about every major robotic vacuum in the biz, and regardless of the make or model, we consistently have the same gripe about every one we try — they don’t have network connectivity options. Despite boasting all manner of sophisticated navigation software and room-scanning sensors, there isn’t a single model on the market that can connect to your home Wi-Fi network or interface with your smartphone.

But not to worry; Netherlands-based startup Thinking Bits has come up with a solution. The company has developed a device called Thinking Cleaner that you can retrofit onto any model of Roomba to give it additional capabilities.

Designed to replace the faceplate of your existing Roomba, Thinking Cleaner can be installed in minutes and doesn’t alter the bot’s shape or size. Once it’s snapped into place, the device connects Roomba to your home wireless network and gives you all the features and functionality that iRobot forgot to include — smartphone-based scheduling, remote control, push notifications, and a whole lot more.

If the bot ever gets stuck or the dustbin gets full, Thinking Cleaner can beam an alert to your phone to let you know. When you leave the house in the morning, the bot can tell when your smartphone goes out of range of your Wi-Fi network and use that as a contextual trigger to automatically activate the bot’s cleaning cycle. If your Roomba should ever get lost, you can simply fire up the accompanying mobile app and tap the locator button; the bot will sing a song to help you track it down. Thinking Bits even built in HomeKit compatibility, so you’ll be able to link your Roomba to other smart devices in your house.

The coolest part is that because it’s a retrofit and not a full-on robot, Thinking Cleaner is much easier on your wallet. Wi-Fi functionality isn’t even available on current robotic vacuums, but when manufacturers like Moneual, Neato, and iRobot do start building it into their products, you can bet that it’ll only be available on the most expensive models.

Alternatively, if you back the Thinking Cleaner now on Kickstarter, you can lock one down for about $120 bucks.

Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Deals

Amazon drops prices on Roomba robot vacuums by up to $150

Amazon is offering discounts on iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums to help you get a leg-up on those chores. We've rounded up the best deals available now and put them all in one place.
Deals

Need a robot vacuum? Amazon is slashing prices on iRobot Roomba alternatives

A robot vacuum is a great smart home device that helps keep your home tidy and avoid some housework. Amazon is discounting the Eufy Robovac 11S and Eufy Robovac 11+. A self-cleaning home is the future and now you can be a part of it. 
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.