My colleague Eduardo has proved this with his latest review of the D-Link Omna 180 camera: accessories connected to iOS are invading our homes. We don’t care if they are smart devices, what we are starting to demand is that we can have them all under control from our iPhone .
The manufacturer Neato , having understood this, has on the market its range of Botvac automatic vacuum cleaners. Depending on the model, we can do more or less, but they all work through a mobile application and our home Wi-Fi network. What do you achieve with this addition in the case of the vacuum cleaners? Let’s see.
A vacuum cleaner that you know what’s going on at all times
To make the tests, Neato has temporarily given us the model Botvac D5 Connected . We are not going to focus too much on its specifications nor are we going to make an in-depth analysis of its cleaning mode, we are going to focus on the experience of having everything under control from the iPhone.
To sum it up and to detail some of the highlights of the D5 Connected, this vacuum cleaner does not work as erratically as the first and pioneering Roomba could. We are dealing with a robot capable of constantly mapping by laser the area to be cleaned , and therefore optimizes its route in a much more optimized way. Our Xataka partners include the Botvac D5 Connected among one of the robots to be considered in the range of more than 500 euros.
The fact that this robot is connected to the iPhone does not change the characteristics of this type of vacuum cleaner: the dimensions are those we are used to seeing in these accessories, and the charging base makes contact with the D5 Connected through metal plates.
The change comes when we want to set it up. Instead of pressing certain buttons on the vacuum cleaner, we can simply turn it on and go to the Neato application. For the first configuration the vacuum cleaner creates a Wi-Fi network that must be accessed , so that we can pass on instructions such as product registration and connection to our home wireless network.
Everything is done quite quickly, within a few minutes you find the vacuum cleaner ready to start working. A cleaning button in the application (even in the Apple Watch) allows us to order the D5 Connected to start cleaning either as much as it can while the battery lasts or an area of about seven square meters. As with any other robot, we can also lock it in a room and tell it from the iPhone to start cleaning.
The status of the cleaning is reflected to you at all times with notifications . iPhone will notify you when the robot has run out of battery and returns to the dock to recharge, or when it has finished cleaning a room, or when it’s stuck somewhere. In the latter case, instructions are also included for moving the robot around, interfering as little as possible with its smart mapping.
Advantages of having the vacuum controls on the iPhone? Many: since you register the robot with Neato’s service and your user account, you can send a cleaning even when you have left home . Perfect if you are in the middle of the street and you have forgotten about it.
Todos los accesorios HomeKit en un único sitio web
It is also very nice to be able to configure programmed cleaning of the vacuum cleaner with the intuitive interface of the application, and not by pressing buttons on the vacuum cleaner and with the manual next to it as if you were programming the VHS video to record some TV program. And of course, you can give yourself the pleasure of ordering a cleaning from the room next door.
This last point is important in another sense: in all robots you have to learn what each sound or music emitted by the vacuum cleaner means. In the case of Neato there are also interpretable sounds, but the iPhone takes care of “translating” them for you by telling you the state of the D5 Connected.
The future has to go through HomeKit
All these features are great, but they are only a first step towards what the Apple user really wants: the integration with HomeKit . All those controls and programming capabilities of a cleaning, added to the whole range of combinations with the rest of connected accessories.
Imagine, for example, being able to indicate with the light bulbs in the house which areas of the house have been cleaned and which have not. Or programming a cleaning not only based on an hour, but on whether, for example, we close all the lights in the house or the air conditioning indicating that we have left.
In fact, in the case of Neato’s D7 Connected model, we could even have a mapping of the areas that have been aspirated and those that have not . In this way, the HomeKit could take care of the vacuum cleaner cleaning the whole house in “phases”, charging the battery between each one of them. And let’s not forget about integration with Siri: commands like ” Clean the whole house ” or ” clean the bedroom and bathroom from four o’clock in the afternoon ” would be fantastic.
But above all, there is another reason: the Botvac D5 Connected costs 649.99 euros on the official website or at Amazon. The simplest robots that do not have iPhone integration, right now, can cost up to 300 euros less. A good example is the Conga Excellence, for example.
From my point of view, if the iPhone integration is limited to being that application where you can sort or schedule cleanups, many people will still prefer to save the extra cost of that integration . But if it joins the whole network of HomeKit devices, and it gives you the possibility of working side by side with the rest of the connected devices in your house, then that added value will be taken into consideration.
Therefore, I support and much that vacuum cleaners can start to be controlled from the iPhone. But the future has to go through HomeKit, especially if the price of these vacuum cleaners is high compared to the competition.