A new product on Kickstarter is aiming to integrate iOS 8’s new HomeKit features into the Roomba automated vacuum cleaner (which our own Ben Lovejoy listed as one of the best home automation gifts for 2014). That product is the Thinking Cleaner, which is basically a new faceplate for your Roomba. Inside the faceplate, however, are the necessary electronics to connect the device to Wi-Fi and control it from your smartphone.
The Thinking Cleaner’s actual feature list is pretty extensive. It allows you to schedule cleaning cycles not only from the web, but from a native iOS app as well. It can also use geofencing to detect when you leave the house and automatically start cleaning. User-customizable notifications can let you know when the Roomba starts cleaning, even when you’re not home.
You can use a “Find my Roomba”-style feature to play a sound from the vacuum, allowing you to quickly locate it, then remotely steer it back to you. Because it works with HomeKit, you can also expect to see some Siri integration as well. The Thinking Cleaner can pull software updates over-the-air, allowing it to gain new capabilities even after buying it.
You can find a lot more information, including several videos on the design of the faceplate, on the Thinking Cleaner’s Kickstarter page.