There’s a new mobile app store available for millions of devices, but it’s not for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone handsets. As of Tuesday, the newest app store is for robots, and the first four apps are compatible with the estimated 6 million iRobot Roomba vacuums. Yes, we now have an app store for robots!
MyRobots.com just launched the new store which has some similarities to other mobile app stores. For example, the company will take 25 percent of any paid transactions for robot apps. One huge difference, however, is that these apps will run directly on a robot, or in the cloud for connected robots. Don’t expect, then, to see smartphone apps that interface with robots in this store.
The first initial applications add some interactivity to the Roomba, including a free app that allows you to have a text chat with your mobile vacuum. The three others are all priced at $25 and range in functionality: remote control over the web; mobile surveillance if you have a web-cam on your Roomba; and a telepresence app for when you’re away from home.
A developer program for the Robot App Store is now in beta, so developers can sign up to help shape the storefront with apps. Will this store ever rival the size and scope of the iTunes App Store? That’s not likely, but I do see many reasons to believe home robotics is the next big thing. I shared those ideas back in 2010 in a GigaOm Pro report (subscription required), saying the brains and sensors in a smartphone are enough to get the home robot movement rolling.