CES 2017: Hands-On With The Black & Decker Smartech Robot Vacuum

CES is always more about a wide range of consumer electronics and not just any one product type. That said there is usually a common theme that happens every single year and a certain type of technology or technological industry that many of the showcased products tend to fall under as the majority, and this year there is a fairly large grouping of Internet of Things products. Now IoT can be considered rather broad and include things like smart bikes, as well as smart home products and there are definitely a lot of smart home products at this year's event. Take for example this new robot vacuum from Black & Decker.

While robot vacuums themselves are not new, they do seem to be a growing corner of the IoT and smart home sectors with more companies jumping in to offer something up, like Xiaomi's Mi Robot Vacuum that launched at the end of 2016. With 2017 being a new year and a fresh start for consumer electronics companies, Black & Decker is now trying their hand at providing consumers with a more efficient and automated way to clean their home than with a traditional vacuum. Black & Decker's robot vacuum, called the Smartech Robot Vacuum, has both unique and similar traits when compared to other robot vacuums on the market. It has a round shape like that seen on iRobot's Roomba lineup, but it also has a large amount of LEDs that make up a lighting system on the top of the unit that make it look a little more futuristic. You'll also find its 1 liter dust bin is accessible from the top and is located in the center of the vacuum, and it's a clear container allowing visibility of the contents.

Beyond design, the Smartech Vacuum has a handful of useful features and decent specs. It's capable of sensing the material of the surface it's vacuuming, such as carpet or hardwood floors, which it uses to move between modes to ensure that it's on the proper mode for that specific surface type. Battery life sits at about 90 minutes on a single charge so depending on how large your house is it may need to retreat back to its charging base in the middle of a cleaning cycle to re-up on power, although that isn't likely to happen often for most homes unless one floor is extremely large, but you can also set it to spot clean if there is simply one or two small areas where it needs to go, which will not only conserve battery power instead of needlessly expending it, but it will also be a lot quicker than setting it to clean your entire home just to hit a couple of spots. Aside from the spot clean mode, it also has an automatic mode and a quick mode, and you can interchange these manually by utilizing the companion app which works for both Android and iOS. The Smartech Robot Vacuum actually comes in four different model variations and will start at $300, then go up to $350, $380, and finally $400 for the highest model.

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About the Author
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Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.
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